Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
By James Davidson
“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” continues the story of misunderstood Disney villain/anti-hero, Maleficent. In this sequel of the 2014 original live-action flick, Maleficent (played by Angelina Jolie) discovers that her goddaughter, and queen of the Moors (a magical land Maleficent hails from), Aurora (played by Elle Fanning) is getting married to Prince Phillip of Ulstead. Maleficent, who is viewed as an evil villain by the human inhabitants of the neighboring kingdom, meets with Prince Phillip’s family to get to know her new future in-laws. At the engagement dinner, Maleficent, who is baited by Queen Ingrid of Ulstead, gets angry at the way she is being treated and begins to shout at and fight with the guards. In the confusion, Phillip’s father, King John, collapses of what’s believed to be a curse and Maleficent is blamed. As she flies away from the castle, Maleficent is shot and wounded. However, she is rescued by a mysterious creature who looks exactly like her.
I was really looking forward to this movie because the first one was excellent and told the story of Sleeping Beauty from a different perspective. I was really hoping that this movie would continue the unique story and build upon the lore of the magical world that the filmmakers built in the first film.
The world that is established in this franchise is magical and beautiful. It included a lot of magical creatures who live in a magical land called the Moors. The creatures are feared and looked down on by the humans that live in the neighboring kingdoms. The Moors, as well as the creatures that inhabit it, are creative and beautiful to see. I really enjoyed the creativeness and visual effects that the filmmakers made. Although there is a lot of CGI used, most of it is done well and not very noticeable, but there are a few scenes where some of the creatures look a little cartoonish.
The plot was very predictable, but that didn’t make it unenjoyable. The story is supposed to follow the classic fairy tale narrative, which makes it predictable, but it is still very enjoyable. Much like the first movie, this movie is told in a classic and predictable way, except it is told from the perspective of the classically perceived villain. This makes you experience a classic fairytale story from a different, fresh point-of-view, and lets you see some of the characters in a different light.
What I really enjoyed about the story, was that even if you haven’t seen the first movie, you will still enjoy this tale. It had been a few years since I saw the first “Maleficent” and I was worried I would be a little lost while watching this one. But, while a few of the characters are the same, the story does a good job at standing on its own and not relying too much on the first movie. Watching the first movie might enhance the experience of watching the sequel, but isn’t necessary.
“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” is rated PG for intense sequences of fantasy action/violence and brief scary images. There is some violence in the battle scenes, but there isn’t a lot of gore and this is a fantastic family-friendly movie for families who enjoy a good fantasy or fairytale flick. Although smaller children might get a bit scared at some of the creatures. They might have a hard time staying focused as the movie does get a bit slow in places and is two hours long.
This “Maleficent” sequel is a great classic fantasy/fairy tale that is told from a fresh, new perspective which shows the evil/bad person, might not be as bad or evil as we are led to believe. It has amazing visuals, for the most part, but it did get a little CGI heavy. I will definitely see this movie again and recommend this for any fantasy or fairytale fan and it is a must-see if you are a fan of the first film. It earns 4 out of 5 stars.