Movie Review-Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Reactions to Disney’s slew of recent live-action remakes have been mixed, and it’s not difficult to see why. Nostalgia may draw audiences to the theaters, but there’s also an undeniable whiff of creative bankruptcy to the House of Mouse recreating its animated hits. Maleficent is somewhat of an outlier. Released in 2014, the film offers a revisionist telling of Sleeping Beauty that casts the titular villainous fairy (Angelina Jolie) as anti-hero. Five years later, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil continues the story and ultimately proves there wasn’t much left to reimagine.
The plot centers on the impending nuptials of Queen Aurora (Elle Fanning) and Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson). Maleficent is reluctant to let her goddaughter go, and even less pleased by the prospect is Phillip’s mother, Queen Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer), who schemes to start a war between the human and magical worlds. Mistress of Evil offers some fun, fantasy visuals, and Jolie is a regal, engaging presence. Unfortunately, she’s absent from much of the movie. The main narrative is congested with subplots that eat up screen time and still manage to feel underdeveloped. There’s just not enough to justify revisiting these characters. Maleficent and Co. would have been better off left asleep.
Should you see it? No, feel free to pass on this one. – S.W.
Viewed at Marcus Chesterfield Cinema