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MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL Review – Strange Brew

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Maleficent: Mistress of Evil review — Cutesy with a touch of genocide, it’s a curious curveball from Disney.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil reviewWhile this movie is called Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, it’s mostly about the now-awakened Sleeping Beauty and princess-to-be Aurora (a cloying Elle Fanning). Maleficent (a commanding Angelina Jolie) skulks about with enormous CG batwings here and there but it seems in the five years between the original Maleficent and this one, somebody forgot to write her character into the script.

Basically, the new movie is burdened with the task of inventing a second chapter for a romantic redemption story that’s already finished. So, what to do? Make an action war movie!

The tale opens on Aurora in the forest of the Moors with all of her fairy friends and the enchanted woodland creatures who adore her. Everything seems right as rain. Right next door is Ulstead, a militaristic territory that’s the home of Aurora’s Prince Charming, Phillip (an inert Harris Dickinson).

Everything seems right as rain here, too. But as the star-crossed couple plans their wedding, black sheep “mom” Maleficent clashes with Phillip’s mother, Queen Ingrith (a luminous Michelle Pfeiffer). Ingrith is a staunch human supremacist who sees fey Maleficent and her supernatural subjects as a scourge to be eliminated. I saw this flick with a friend and her 10-year-old daughter; we were shocked to see so many scary holocaust parallels in what we thought would be an innocuous Disney fairytale.

While the opening is entertaining enough, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil soon devolves into a messy puzzle of plots and subplots. Maleficent dives down to the underworld for military reinforcements after being grievously injured; the fairies fight for their lives while locked in the oven… er, wedding chapel; Queen Ingrith is at odds with her husband King John (Robert Lindsay); a mad scientist Mengele-like goblin called Lickspittle (Warwick Davis) is working on weapons of death in a secret wing of the castle; while Conall (Chiwetel Ejiofor) does… something. I got a little confused after a while. But of course, all’s well that ends well and eventually, peace and harmony are restored to all the kingdoms and everyone goes skipping off hand-in-hand.

I didn’t necessarily dislike Maleficent: Mistress of Evil—it’s enough of a spectacle to warrant a view—but it’s an ultimately unnecessary sequel and seems too intense to justify a PG rating.

1 hour 58 minutes
Rated PG

If you’re still feeling all magic and fuzzy after reading this Maleficent: Mistress of Evil review, Fandango.com has showtimes.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil review — Cutesy with a touch of genocide, it’s a curious curveball from Disney.from Disney.

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Staci Layne Wilson

Staci Layne Wilson

Staci Layne Wilson is an accomplished writer / director / producer / film critic and the author the bestseller So L.A. - A Hollywood Memoir. Find her on StaciLayneWilson.com

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