Grade: D Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, is back to deliver some evil naps.
After recently seeing 2014’s “Maleficent” for the first time and feeling “meh” about it, I was ready to see the new movie in theaters with very low expectations. “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” has now arrived, five years later, and it is not that much more impressive of a movie. The visuals and acting are well done, but the one hundred and eighteen minute story was simply boring. The truth is, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” is not really about Maleficent (played by Angelina Jolie). The new movie is more about Princess Aurora (played by Elle Fanning) and Prince Philip Alstead (played by Harris Dickinson). Prince Philip asks to marry Princess Aurora in order to unite the two kingdoms, the Moores (the fairies) and the Alsteads. Princess Aurora is Maleficent’s god daughter and Maleficent protects the Moores. What was supposed to be a beautiful wedding signifying peace between the two kingdoms, turns into a trap orchestrated by the power hungry Queen Ingrith Alstead (played by Michelle Pfeiffer).
Even though the first movie had a better story with the Sleeping Beauty storyline and a dark backdrop with the Evil Queen, the new movie is slightly more entertaining as it does boast a pretty impressive (and long) battle sequence which managed to pique my interest. It arrived just in the nick of time because I was ready to walkout about an hour into the movie. Aside from the battle sequence, the movie is pretty dull and boring. In the first movie, I was bored from start to finish. In this movie, I was only bored during the first half of the movie. The script makes the audience patiently wait for something to happen as the majority of the movie is dialogue. To its credit, the boring dialogue does take place in front of gorgeous scenery and impressive visuals that were quite a few steps above the previous movie. Unfortunately, as I have learned from “Gemini Man,” impressive visuals cannot save a bad movie.
What I also realized from “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” is that I don’t really care about Maleficent as a character. I would agree that Maleficent is up there on the list in terms of iconic Disney villains, but in my opinion Scar from Lion King takes the number one spot. No Disney villain has been as evil as Scar.
There is really only one reason to see “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” and that reason is the huge battle scene that was well executed. Queen Ingrith’s army uses the equivalent of fairy kryptonite to keep the Moores at bay. The fairies do not react well to iron and Queen Ingrith has one of her noblemen make an iron powder to kill the fairies. Seeing the clouds of the iron powder, surrounding the Alstead castle was pretty neat and made for some great cinematic shots.
I am clearly not a Maleficent fan and I am probably not the target demographic for the movie. I think “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” and its PG rating would be better suited for a younger female audience, especially if they are at the age where they still aspire to be a princess or a fairy. Funny enough, the audience I observed was mainly older men, pretty devoid of kids. Could it be because parents think that Maleficent is too scary for kids (she isn’t) and might put evil thoughts into children’s heads? The truth is, the movie is safe for kids to see, but they might be just as bored as the adults in the theater.
Unless you are a huge Maleficent fan and somehow craving more after the first film, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” is not worth a trip to the theaters. While it is SLIGHTLY better than the first movie, it is not one to rush out and see.