Title: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Film Release Date: Oct 18th, 2019
DVD and Blu-ray Release: Jan 14th, 2020
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Director: Joachim Rønning
Release Format: Theatrical
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is a movie that I was left not feeling too strongly about it either way. The feeling of been there done that will have you feeling like Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates.
Maleficent(Angelina Jolie) learns her human goddaughter Aurora ( Elle Fanning), is getting married. On top of her existing conflicting feelings surrounding humans, there is a war brewing between humans and creatures of the forest that’ll test Maleficent and Aurora’s bond more than ever.
Angelina Jolie carries this movie on her wicked back as the other characters aren’t that interesting. However, set and costume designs here are eye-catching. The designs are leagues above the writing here, which is a shame they couldn’t have been used in a better film.
This, combined with a somewhat bloated runtime, just left me wondering why this sequel exists. By bloated, I mean, it feels like there was a start and finish, but the middle took a nap while the supervisor wasn’t looking.
The designs bring this magical world of creatures and spells to life. There is a grand sense of scale that helps to put this next to some of the epics the silver screen has seen over the years. This is in part of not only the designers but also the visual effects team went hard for us when they didn’t have to.
From the ariel battle scenes to the festive look of the kingdom, the CGI only aides in the immersion. The amount of detail and works shows on screen that is a treat to take in.
Angelina Jolie is another great asset to this movie with her cold as ice lines and fantastic delivery. For playing the lead character, she feels more like a side character in this conflict between humans and feys. She still commands the screen every time she appears, but the surrounding underdeveloped characters are there for her to react to.
This exchange below, without a doubt, shows glimpses of how high the drama could have been if the script wasn’t so spotty.
Queen Ingrith: If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were making a threat.
Maleficent: Well, do you?
Queen Ingrith: Do I what?
Maleficent: Know better.
While uneven, the script is serviceable and has sparks of brilliance spread throughout that could rival Game of Thrones. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but so was Jon Snow’s undying loyalty to his mad “queen.”
The biggest issue of the movie besides the uneven script is just the pacing of it all. There’s a setup, then nothing happens for a while before the ending battle comes, and it’s over. This rushed nature is what I expect from my half-read 7th-grade book reports, not a big-budget Disney flick.
Yes, there can be instances of lousy dialogue, but what doesn’t help is the actors hamming it up. Characters like the prince have as much subtly as a decades-old Disney cartoon. Yes, while this is based on one and whether it’s purposely done or not, animation can simply get away with things that in live-action.
There are a handful of extra features that go behind the making this movie. There’s an interesting feature that, while short, goes into detail of how the team painstakingly worked out the different types of flights for the fey. There’s also two extended scenes and brief outtakes for those that
Overall, the extras are good but too short for cinephiles that actually liked that movie and wanted to live in the world more. If you liked the film, there’s the only real advantage is the multiple versions you get for purchasing this physically.
You Know What You Want
Verdict: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is a movie I could have lived without seeing. Luckily, Jolie is a great leader that can carry this film even when nothing is happening.
This project excels at enwrapping you in a magical world with its visuals. If the first film was your Jam, then this will likely be too. If you love fantasy stories, then this gives you more of that content. However, if you’re looking to catch a good fantasy flick, maybe try How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.
What’s the best live-action Disney film so far based on a classic? What are your thoughts on Maleficent: Mistress of Evil? Leave your comments!