Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Directed by: Joachim Rønning
Written by: Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Noah Harpster, and Linda Woolverton
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Michelle Pfeiffer, Elle Fanning, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sam Riley, Harris Dickinson, Ed Skrein, and Robert Lindsay
Genre: Fantasy, Action
Viewing Mindset: Interested due to the surprising quality of the first Maleficent.
Maleficent was a nice surprise, a movie that not much was expected of but which delivered an enjoyable tale. I would even say it is the best of Disney’s recent remakes, probably because instead of being a direct retelling, it’s more a reimagining. Thus I was curious and, against my instincts, a bit excited to see how this sequel turned out.
Now I can say that it failed to deliver. It wasn’t bad, and it had some good moments, but it lost much of what made the first so pleasant—it had no purpose. Its back story was unfulfilling and incomplete, the villain was unenjoyable, the faye were boring, and it felt like a sequel with no plan other than to make money on the shoulders of its predecessor.
I do want to make it clear that once it gets going there are good moments and it’s not all bad, but there isn’t any good reason that it all got going in the first place. It’s like one big hodgepodge of ideas they didn’t have time for in the first film, but without a new plot. This lack of purpose along with a slew of loose ends and unexplained phenomena dampen what enjoyment I did have while watching.
The faye characters are beautiful and fun, the acting is pretty good, the action is enjoyable, but none of the new entrants are more than set pieces. The king from the original (shout-out to Sharlto Copley) was great as an actor and a character both, with purpose and drive; this time around, even Pfeiffer’s great acting couldn’t cover the fact that the queen had no reason to be evil, no motivation, and was just a poor villain despite being played by a great actress.
The sets and costumes are top-notch, the cast is great, but still its incompleteness and lack of vision bring it down. Though it’s not a disaster, I can’t recommend spending money to see it in theaters.