MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL – The Return of Queen Jolie

Queen Jolie returns with Queen Pfeiffer to give us much more of the same in the MALEFICENT sequel MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL. This Disney sequel and Kernel Elie headed on in to review for us all, thanks Elie.

MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL is rated PG and runs for 119mins. Enjoy Elie’s thoughts on the film…………all the best……………Salty.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Angelina Jolie
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Angelina Jolie

BY ELIE ELKORR

MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL SYNOPSIS:

Five years after the events of MALEFICENT, an emergence of a new dark force threatens the very existence of magical beings while Maleficent and newly crowned Queen of the Moors Aurora’s relationship takes an unexpected turn. 

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert Lindsay, Elle Fanning, and Harris Dickinson
Harris Dickinson is Prince Phillip, Elle Fanning is Aurora, Robert Lindsay is King John and Michelle Pfeiffer is Queen Ingrith

A SPRINKLE OF DISNEY MAGIC:

MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL casts a magical Disney spell when it comes to the film’s impressive visuals. Each frame is brimming with Disney magic. From the vast array of vibrant colours of the Moors to the majestic landscapes of the Kingdom of Ulstead, MISTRESS OF EVIL trumps its predecessor from a visual standpoint. Ellen Mirojnick’s costume design is fabulous. MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL stems across four distinct worlds; The Dark Fey, the fairy world of the Moors, Ulstead and Queen Ingrith’s castle. Mirojnick nails it out of the park with the costume design in each category. The Dark Fey especially, all look fantastic with distinct designs akin to each tribe. Need not we mention the Queen of evil herself, who looks stunning and also acquires a few tweaks and upgrades to her infamous attire. Michelle Pfeiffer dazzles in a spectacular light blue gown glossed with rows of pearls and diamonds. Well done, Ellen Mirojnick!

Elle Fanning is once again excellent as the Sleeping Beauty herself, Aurora. Fanning’s mature performance provides for some heart-warming moments both with and in the absence of her cunning Godmother. Her interaction with the magical menagerie of the Moors, such as talking trees (no not Ent’s), pixies and fairies will be a delight for children. Sam Riley, who reprises his role as the shapeshifting Diaval, is given more of a comedic role and it works thanks to some fantastic line delivery. There was a perfect balance between Riley’s use of humour and knowing when to dumb it down for the dramatic sequences.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie

NOT ENOUGH QUEEN JOLIE:

As bizarre as it sounds, there is not enough Maleficent in a film titled MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL. Angelina Jolie once again owns every scene and her line delivery is superb. Jolie’s mischievous tone and sarcastic quips are a joy to watch and provide numerous amounts of chuckles along the way. Her performance is magnetic and oozes pragmatism. However, MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL squanders its opportunity to showcase its titular lead character. Although Maleficent herself is present on screen, for the majority of the second act, Jolie is given a few lines of dialogue to show off her seductive charisma. Maleficent becomes a spectator and is force-fed information about her race by Conall (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a Dark Fey pacifist leader and exposition machine. Even Maleficent’s cathartic return in the third act is once again cut short by limiting Jolie’s dialogue and turning her into an indestructible CGI creation. 

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil David Gyasi and Michelle Pfeiffer
David Gyasi and Michelle Pfeiffer

A MUDDLED FAIRY TALE:

Since we are on the subject of fairy tales, MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL’s plot is completely tangled. Thank you, Rapunzel, for that one. MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL not only limits queen Jolie’s on-screen virago but also manages to waste Michelle Pfeiffer (Queen Ingrith). The film teases a sassy catfight between Jolie and Pfeiffer in a great scene where the parents of the bride and groom to be meet for the first time. MISTRESS OF EVIL must have taken a page out of HARRY POTTER and cast the ‘Riddikulus’ spell because Jolie and Pfeiffer’s sparring session transforms into an all too familiar scene. The two were separated from each other until basically the final ten minutes of the film. Why Disney? Why?! 

MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL diverges into far too many subplots after that. We have Maleficent herself taken entirely out of the picture as she journeys to the world of the Dark Fey where the script completely restricts Jolie. Michelle Pfeiffer is busy with her one-dimensional villainous role of destroying everything that’s not human. It’s impossible to get behind Pfeiffer (who oft times phones it in) and her generic motives to ‘rule dominion over the kingdom.’ It’s been seen and done before. At first glance it was apparent that Queen Ingrith was going to cause some trouble. Bland and predictable. Stevie Wonder could have seen it coming.

The inevitable showdown between the two cats in the third act feels more like a side dish. Harris Dickinson (who replaces Brenton Thwaites) as Prince Phillip is paint-by-numbers and the script struggles to give him anything of importance to do in the CGI clustered third act.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning

IN CONCLUSION:

MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL has plenty of Disney magic to offer. Although far from cursed, MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL blows the opportunity to show off both Queen Jolie and Pfeiffer’s seductive talents as the formidable mistresses of evil. With far too much going on in the third act, MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL’s fairy tale ends on a predictable and lacklustre note.

YOUR CRITIC:

Elie Elkorr is a proud film critic and writer for Salty Popcorn. He is a movie fanatic and also runs his own Twitter page for movie reviews and news @TweetEReviews1. He likes calling out movies when they provide social commentary rather than focusing on actual story and doesn’t care what anyone thinks about it. His views are his own. He is also a Law and Film student on the side and is the heir to being Black Widow’s Boyfriend. 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.