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Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Movie Review - Beautiful but Predictable

The film story is overlong but acting is convincing.

Oct 16, 2019
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Movie Review - Beautiful but Predictable - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Oct 16, 2019
( Rating: 3 Star Rating)

Kidzworld reviews Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning are very convincing in their roles but Michelle Pfeiffer’s over-the-top queen is the real threat in a predictable story.

In Maleficent: Mistress of Evil five years have passed and there is more trouble between humans and fairy folk as Aurora (Elle Fanning) is engaged to Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson). Phillip’s mother powerful queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer) claims Aurora as her own making Maleficent, who considers Aurora her goddaughter, beyond angry. Aurora is torn between her fiance’s family and devotion to Maleficent and the Moorfolk. Ingrith’s secret plan to permanently separate human and fairy folk can only be foiled if dark fairy Maleficent and the beautiful Aurora reunite, gather new allies and face their enemies in order to protect their shared magical lands.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Trailer

 

Fairy Kidnap

Under cover of night, three thieves sneak across the river that divides the kingdom of Ulstead from the magical lands of the Moorfolk. Their target? Some teeny tiny fairy folk. They manage to capture one and take it back to the castle where they hand it over for money to a mysterious creature.

Aurora in the fairy MoorlandAurora in the fairy MoorlandCourtesy of Disney

Queen of the Moorfolk

Former princess Aurora is now the human queen of the magical Moorfolk where she rules with kindness and sensitivity. Her godmother, the dark fairy Maleficent remains peaceful despite the fact that humankind still thinks she is evil. Suddenly Prince Phillip of Ulstead arrives and asks Aurora to marry him. They share a desire for peace between humans and magical Moorfolk. Maleficent’s shapeshifting raven/human sidekick Diaval (Sam Riley) overhears and decides Maleficent should know. She is furious and flies away in a huff.

Prince Phillip is ready to proposePrince Phillip is ready to proposeCourtesy of Disney

Family Disagreement

Phillip’s father King John (Robert Lindsay) wants peace with the Moorfolk but Philip’s friend and a general in the royal army Percival (David Gyasi) believes they and Maleficent are evil threats. Learning the engagement news Phillip’s mom Queen Ingrith seems to approve the marriage and invites Aurora and her godmother Maleficent to a dinner at the castle.

Ingrith welcomes Aurora to her familyIngrith welcomes Aurora to her familyCourtesy of Disney

The Dinner

After Aurora begs Maleficent to give Phillip a chance to prove his love, she agrees to try to “make nice” at the dinner. She is sad but complies when Aurora asks her to wear a kind of veil to cover her horns. Before dinner Ingrith checks in on a little person named Lickspittle (Warwick Davis) who is experimenting on the kidnapped fairies. We see that Ingrith also has a group of workers slaving away in the dungeon making weapons! At dinner, sly insults from Ingrith get worse and worse. When she says that Aurora will now be her daughter, Maleficent loses it and the king falls to the floor. Ingrith says that Maleficent put a spell/curse on him. Sadly, Aurora believes her.

Angry Maleficent at the dinnerAngry Maleficent at the dinnerCourtesy of Disney

Iron Injury

When the angry Maleficent flies away, she is shot by Gerda, one of Ingrith’s followers, with an iron bullet. Badly injured, she falls into the river and is rescued by a winged being that looks very much like her. Gerda sees this and reports it to Ingrith. Not knowing, Aurora swears to Ingrith that she will find Maleficent and convince her to break the curse on the king. Maleficent is taken to the underground world of the Dark Fae people. Their leader Connal (Chewitel Ejiofor) tells her that these are her people. They’ve had to hide here from humans for centuries since the time they lived all over the earth. Connal wants peace but his lieutenant Borra (Ed Skrien) is fed up and wants war and powerful Maleficent’s assistance.

Connal is Maleficent's rescuerConnal is Maleficent's rescuerCourtesy of Disney

Aurora Returns

Not finding a trace of Maleficent, Aurora returns to the castle where Ingrith plans the wedding in three days. Everyone, Moorfolk and human is invited. Aurora feels very controlled by Ingrith. Lickspittle shows Ingrith that he has used the fairy dust from the captives and mixed it with Iron filings that can easily kill Moorfolk. He demonstrates by sprinkling it on a fairy and the tiny being disintegrates.

Ingrith finds alliesIngrith finds alliesCourtesy of Disney

This is War

When Connal is gravely injured and Maleficent returns to the Moorlands and sees that humans have used a mystery weapon to destroy some of the lands, she favors war. All of the Moorfolk are going to the castle for the wedding. It has to be a trap! She will join Borra and make war on the humans. Meanwhile Aurora has discovered both Lickspittle’s laboratory and the trapped fairies as well as Ingrith’s weapons room and the ancient spinning wheel with spindle that originally cursed her. On touching it she sees a vision confirming that Ingrith used the still active curse to down the king and blame it on Maleficent.

If they want war...If they want war...Courtesy of Disney

Who Will Win?

Aurora sets out to warn and free Moorfolk trapped in the church awaiting the wedding. They are being slowly poisoned by the fairy dust/iron concoction pumped inside. Will Maleficent and Aurora make up? Will Ingrith win against the Dark Fae attacking the castle or face a horrible end? Will Aurora and Phillip finally get married and will the two worlds ever live in true peace?

Can Aurora and her prince be happy?Can Aurora and her prince be happy?Courtesy of Disney

Wrapping Up

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is gorgeous to look at and peopled with striking new characters and cute critters. Costumes are lush and amazing and special visual effects make it all believable. Angelina and Elle continue to really sell their roles with flair and there are touching moments between them. Michelle Pfeiffer is effective bouncing from kind warmth to brutal wickedness but, having most of the more melodramatic dialogue, she seems way over-the-top at times. A few new characters are introduced but wasted.

At the dinnerAt the dinnerCourtesy of Disney

The movie is a bit too long with sequences that could easily have been tightened to run at a better pace. How long can we watch flying Dark Fae flit around dodging killer red dust?  You don’t want all the visual wonder to become boring and, at times, it does.

There are other Dark Fae like MaleficentThere are other Dark Fae like MaleficentCourtesy of Disney

One of the key explanations in the story revolves around the magical spinning wheel spindle cursed by Maleficent in the first film. In this film the curse lives and touching the spindle evidently produces visions. None of this is very clear. There are several story devices thrown in to conveniently solve a problem that just don’t make much sense.

Greeting at dinnerGreeting at dinnerCourtesy of Disney

The themes/lessons of tolerance and the acceptance of diversity are BIG in films lately.. and worthy but there are a few very dark moments in which tiny fairies are hurt or killed that might be upsetting to younger audience members.

Aurora, Maleficent and DiavalAurora, Maleficent and DiavalCourtesy of Disney

Will you enjoy the film? Probably but, although a nice sequel that ties up some lose ends, it isn’t a perfect presentation. We award three stars.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Movie Rating: 3

Courtesy of Disney
 

See Maleficent: Mistress of Evil in theaters Friday, October 18th

Have Your Say!

Are you a fan of either Maleficent or Aurora? Are you rooting for the joining of the human and fairy worlds? How do you hope the story wraps up? Tell everyone with a comment and/or a note on your Kidzworld profile page.

 

By: Lynn Barker