Film Review -Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil

Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil (PG)

Directed by: Joachim Ronning

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer

Three and a half stars

Review by: Julian Wright

Angelina Jolie reprises her already iconic role as the icy, downtrodden fairy with a chip on her shoulder in an ambitious big budget sequel with a message or two.

Five years after the last film ended, Aurora (Elle Fanning) is leading a contented life after being crowned Queen of the Moors and overseeing the mischievous inhabitants while courting her boyfriend Prince Philip (Harris Dickinson).

When Prince Philip proposes, she immediately accepts but is met with instant disapproval from her fairy mother Maleficent (Angelina Jolie), who is still bitter about the way she has been treated by humans in the past.

With tensions raging, an attempt to bring Maleficent and Philip’s parents King John (Robert Lindsay) and Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer) together for a peaceful meeting ends in disaster, the fiery fairy forbids the nuptials.

When King John dies during the disastrous altercation, Maleficent is blamed and Queen Ingrith launches an attack, and her true intentions surface: she plans to spark a war between humans and fairies.

maleficent

Meanwhile, Maleficent discovers there are more fairies like her and they are just as dark on humans as she is.

There are some interesting, surface level themes going on in this sequel, with some harsh truths about the dark side of human behaviour not so subtly laid out, and Aurora and Philip’s desire to create a safe space for creatures of every kind a nice counter balance to the current climate created by Trump.

While it may sail over the heads of very young children, and adults may find the sledgehammer approach a bit much, this sequel aims higher than most.

The main draw-card here, though, is the face-off between cinematic ice-queens Jolie and Pfeiffer, who almost cause a blizzard in their first shared scene together in a showstopping family dinner sequence that is meticulously handled for maximum tension.

A distinct chill emanates through the cinema when these two come together.

Despite plenty of fast paced action and spectacle taking place later in the film with cute, sympathetic woodland creatures placed in peril to tug on the heartstrings, the battle sequences fail to match the level of tension achieved in the dinner sequence.

Had it done so, this could have led to a cracking finale. Instead, what we get is simply satisfactory.

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