Main cast: Angelina Jolie (Maleficent), Elle Fanning (Princess Aurora), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Conall), Sam Riley (Diaval), Ed Skrein (Borra), Harris Dickinson (Prince Phillip), Imelda Staunton (Knotgrass), Juno Temple (Thistlewit), Lesley Manville (Flittle), Robert Lindsay (King John), and Michelle Pfeiffer (Queen Ingrith)
Director: Joachim Rønning
Maleficent is an adequate but forgettable movie, so of course it made enough money to warrant a sequel. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is more of the same, only this time our titular protagonist isn’t exactly an underdog, so it’s harder to sympathize with her foolishness this time around.
After the events of the last movie, Maleficent is doing her thing, protecting the fairies and the land, but she’s not exactly a popular person. No matter, as she has her daughter Aurora by her side, and Aurora is busy being a Disney princess, being all cute and only stopping short of bursting into song – they have to save that for the other Disney princess movie coming out soon, I guess. Prince Philip from the previous movie shows up soon – this time played by a different bloke because the previous dude has better things to do, like playing an edgy bargain-bin version of Robin in a bargain bin superhero series – and proposes to Aurora.
Maleficent is like, hell no, because she says no, and Aurora naturally goes ahead and accepts the proposal. This pits our Mistress of Evil against Aurora’s future mother-in-law Queen Ingrith, with the dumbass going all “Woo! I’m totally evil and crazy like you all say I am!” without actually killing anyone, only to see herself framed for a curse befalling King John and giving Ingrith the excuse to seize power and wage war on all fairies. Malefidumb-dumb, ladies and gentlemen.
Mothers-in-law at war may be tad too real a drama for some adults sitting in the audience, but sadly, this movie doesn’t do anything with that premise other than to force it through a predictable formulaic mold. Of course Ingrith is up to no good, of course Maleficent is still special and awesome despite having the brainpower of a gnat and needing anger management, and everything is in a stark black and white shade that makes everything feel even dumber than usual. The people whom you’d use will die based on their archetypes do just that, and everyone and everything else is equally predictable.
Therefore, there isn’t anything new or interesting here that hasn’t been seen many times before, only the script opts to insert tortuous twists and turns in an unsuccessful effort to mask how formulaic the story is.
Angelina Jolie is once again flailing and gnashing her teeth, but her character is far less sympathetic this time around without a mean dude framing her for things that she has no control over. Michelle Pfeiffer has little to do here too other than to chew scenery. Princess Aurora comes off as very annoying here – I don’t recall her being like this in the previous movie, hmm.
At any rate, Maleficient: Mistress of Evil isn’t very interesting or fun. It’s in many ways similar to the previous movie, but without any hint of vulnerability that would have made the main character and her story far more easier to sit through.