"Jolie continues to be the heartbeat of this franchise! | MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL – Review"
“Well… Well…” – Maleficent
When Disney first released MALEFICENT (2014), something I recall saying to myself was how bold it was for them to release a film revolving around a villain and tie it in alongside one of the most beloved characters…Sleeping Beauty! Starring Angelina Jolie, the story was unique and wicked, but had its beauty (no pun). Perhaps it may not have worked for everyone, but the film went on to be a success (grossing more than $750 million worldwide), presented a new take on what a protagonist can look and feel like, and lastly…a touching metaphor about people and how they’re not always what you think or assume they are.
5 years later, Disney’s MALEFICENT returns! MISTRESS OF EVIL stars Angelina Jolie back as the horned fairy of darkness. The story picks up several years after the events of the first film and continues to explore the complex relationship between Maleficent and Aurora (Elle Fanning). Their now starting-off point is the realization and acceptance that Aurora is now “adulting” and tackling on a journey that finds herself juggling love and two feuding worlds, which involves Queen Ingrith (Michelle Phfeiffer), Prince Phillip’s (Harris Dickenson) mom with motives of her own for the greater good of humanity.
In a nutshell, while it doesn’t really generate or carry that darkened allure or mystique we got back 2014, this sequel holds its own courtesy of a story that explores more within humanity’s complexities, while digging deeper within the origins of the Mistress of Evil. The film itself doesn’t center around Maleficent (which is good), it also bounces back-and-forth between Queen Ingrith and Aurora. Therefore, exposing a driven story led by women. Three strong women with objectives that link with each other. Granted not in agreement, but each taking a stance for what they believe in. Right, wrong, or indifferent, the scope of it all can be subjective and allowed the film to be watchable.
As a wonderful addition and antagonist, Phfeiffer has her swag. Talented and stern in her ways balances out well alongside Jolie, who still looks fantastic as Maleficent. Not a fan of those pointy poking cheekbones they’ve placed on her face, but overall, the woman owns her role. Therefore, Jolie clearly being the heartbeat of this now popular, antihero franchise. Overall, it’s a bit of a lovey-dovey, silly, slow burn at first, but redeems itself with an entertaining payoff. Don’t know if this will garner any more of a fanbase, but it’s a magical piece in its own way, visually fun, and thoroughly entertains.
Grade: B / Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi and Fantasy / Rated: PG / Time: 118 Min.
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer