Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is the sequel to the 2014 live-action original about the dark fairy from Sleeping Beauty. Like so many unwarranted follow-ups, I’m not sure if it was justified, but the first one was a hit, so naturally, you know what that means.
Angelina Jolie returns as the titular character, living in the same world from the first and after being praised as a hero, the kingdom that embraced her has once again ostracized her. The movie doesn’t really give us a real plausible reason why except the fact that Disney felt compelled to make another movie.
As for the plot, Elle Fanning also comes back as Princess Aurora, Maleficent’s goddaughter, who is now engaged to Prince Philip (Harris Dickinson). Aurora wants to marry him in the hope that their union will bring together her family’s kingdom as well as the creatures who live outside of it.
Maleficent forbids Aurora to marry him as she fears that humans will never accept her kind. After they meet his parents (Michelle Pfieffer and Robert Lindsay) and they tell Maleficent that Aurora will now have a real family, she gnashes her teeth with jealousy and abandons her goddaughter.
Fleeing to a land where she meets her own kind, Maleficent decides to take up arms by leading the creatues known as the Feys into battle against the humans. Chiwetel Ejiofor costars as the leader of the Feys.
Like the first film, the movie has a great sense of vision that stays true to the spirit of the Disney classic. Sometimes it does tend to go toward chronic sensory overload, but there’s always something to behold.
I can’t really think of a single reason to defend Maleficent: Mistress of Evil except that it looks great and the actors seem to really enjoy the material.
Jolie owns that costume and demeanor with a winning screen presence; Fanning displays a certain innocence and heart, and Pfeiffer is also good as a queen who may or may not want her son to end up with a woman for fear of her lineage. These three women make their roles their own.
I recommend it more for the technical side rather than its story which is fairly predictable. I’m not much looking forward to Maleficent 3 if one ever gets made, but I’m not in control of that. Disney is.
Hall is a syndicated movie critic in South Georgia.