Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
review by Bobby Blakey
Disney has been on a role with bringing to life many of their animated features with Dumbo the most recent and both Aladdin and The Lion King heading into theaters soon. Back in 2014 they tried something a bit different with turning the focus on one of their creepier villains Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie in the title role. Now they are taking fans back to this world with the next chapter Maleficent: Mistress of Evil costarring Elle Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ed Skrein, Juno Temple and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Can this film capture the same magic of the first or will it be a curse not worth lifting?
“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” is a fantasy adventure that picks up several years after “Maleficent,” in which audiences learned of the events that hardened the heart of Disney’s most notorious villain and drove her to curse a baby Princess Aurora. The film continues to explore the complex relationship between the horned fairy and the soon to be Queen as they form new alliances and face new adversaries in their struggle to protect the moors and the magical creatures that reside within. While not a huge fan of Jolie or even the character I still found her perfect casting in the first film. The twist on telling the Sleeping Beauty story actually entertained me more than I had expected, but never really left me wanting to revisit this world, but with success we are going back once again.
The trailers for this film had me intrigued for at least the expansion of the dark fay mythos, but was concerned the whole wedding side of it would feel to cliché. While there are a lot of good things there are a lot that just didn’t deliver for me. The story is pretty straight forward and sadly does hit the usual fairy tale marks which isn’t overly surprising, but had hoped for something more. I did enjoy all the dark fay stuff and looks of the other fay we get to meet. Their designs are awesome and seeing them action is a highlight of the film. The overall pacing of the film is pretty slow for most of
the film leaving me struggling a bit to stay with it, but more than makes up for it in the climax that brings some fun to the mix.
Seeing the dark fay in battle was some of the best parts of the film, but was a bit let down they didn’t get to showcase much more than flying and snatching up people. Visually the movie is insanely beautiful and vibrant making it a visual treat for the senses. Jolie does shine once again in the role and while she is gone for a bit of the film steals every scene she is in with the exception of the finale where she felt off to me. This was likely the change in tone for the ending, but it came off more cartoony and almost like a separate film.
In the end this is one of those films that will no doubt work to perfection for hardcore fans and those that loved the previous films. I am totally aware that I am not the target audience and there was still enough here to enjoy it overall, but not one I am likely to revisit.
This release not only includes the film but also bonus content including outtakes, extended scenes, music video and numerous featurettes taking you behind bringing this film to life. Grab your copy of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil available now on Digital 4K Ultra HD, HD and SD and then on Ultimate Collector’s Edition (4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital Code), a Multi-Screen Edition (Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Code) and a single DVD on January 14th from DisneyHome Entertainment.