‘Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil’ is part two of the live-action story that started with the 2014 film, ‘Maleficent.‘ I liked this movie but I’m still not sure who it was meant for.
‘Maleficent‘ left us looking at “true love’s kiss” in a new light. Part two follows young love as Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) and Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson) of are set to be married. Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) is invited to dine with Aurora and the Prince’s parents, King John (Robert Lindsay) and Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer.) Tensions grow as discussion of how fairy folk have come up missing and humans were found dead in the Moors. The film, ‘Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil,’ expands on the origins of Maleficent, herself, and asks “can there truly be peace in all the land?”
Aesthetically, this movie was gorgeous. The architecture of the palace and its grounds was inspiring. The whimsy of the fairy’s home, the Moors, was elegant and dreamy. The costumes and visual effects of the characters were entrancing. I just couldn’t look away. There was one specific shot when Maleficent wakes up in an unknown location after being wounded. It plays with monochromatic shades and flowing lines and it made me wish I could rewind.
The storyline had a couple interesting turns that I wasn’t expecting. After the fact, I said “of course!” and appreciated the turns. However, there were a lot of convenient ways they tried to tie up loose ends that seemed far from believable. For example, there is A LOT of death. And not just “we’re at war so there are bond to be casualties” kind of death. It’s a slow, drawn out, and… well, evil kind of killing.
The title says “Mistress of Evil.” So, evil characters didn’t bug me. It was just that within one speech, it goes from an all out massacre to a joyful wedding scene where all is forgiven and everyone is best friends. I like when the photography is monochromatic but I don’t believe the acting mood should be. Thinking about it, I don’t feel like any of the characters had much of an arch. While that didn’t stand out or bug me at the time, that was probably what made the difference from good to great.
The main problem I saw was that I didn’t know who the audience was supposed to be. The ending made it seem like it was for kids but everything before that seemed much more toward the teen and adult audience. As I walked out after the show, I though it was enjoyable. The pluses out weighed the minuses for a first time viewing but the replay value was low. I probably wouldn’t watch it again but I think I’ll keep an eye out for the art book.
3.5 of 5 stars