Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Of the many things I disliked about this movie, the first is the title — Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. As a kid growing up in the ‘80s, it made me think of Elvira: Mistress of the Dark.
I’m also not a big fan of Angelina Jolie in this role. Don’t get me wrong, her acting is fine. She’s just so thin, it’s odd looking at her face on screen. And in this boring sequel, she’s not even in half the film. Instead, it’s the mother-in-law that’s the evil one (Michelle Pfeiffer, who is great in her role).
Prince Philip (Harris Dickinson) has asked Queen Aurora (Elle Fanning) to marry him. This is going to unite the two kingdoms. The dinner meeting before the wedding…doesn’t go so well. In one of the rare scenes that made me smile, Maleficent is being coached on how to be nice before attending. Now, that doesn’t stop her from making the cat that jumped on the table levitate in a green glow. And as someone who recently had dinner at a friend’s house, who let his cat walk around the table, I was hoping Maleficent would blow it to smithereens.
Of course, a curse is put on the king, which has these two kingdoms ready for war.
At least Joachim Ronning (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) has the film shot a bit brighter than the original. Some of the visuals are magical, and the kids will enjoy them. The problem is that the subject matter is a bit dark for kids. That leads me to ask — who is this movie actually for? I can’t imagine adults enjoying it. I was bored with almost every minute of it.
Chiwetel Ejiofor shows up as Conali (which sounds delicious). He looks rather goofy in his huge wings. He runs a magical, woke kingdom where various species reside. This kingdom is important because…well, it gives the audience all the explanations they need for what’s happening..
The three pixies (Lesley Manville, Imedla Staunton, Juno Temple) were cute in the first one, but not so much this time.
The production designer (Patrick Tatopoulous of Batman v Superman) does a nice job, and seeing this in IMAX does make for some nice visuals, but so what? When you really dissect this lazy script, it makes little sense.
For a Disney movie, an awful lot of people died. But I guess it’s all still a happy ending, right?
This is an unnecessary sequel that’s only for the hardcore fans of the first film, that welcome seeing the return of these characters.
It’s also the has most unnecessary pipe organ solo, since Rick Wakeman on the Yes tour in 1973.
1 star out of 5.