If there was such a thing as epic for both kids and adults, then “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” must be it, and you can see our review agrees! This sequel to the 2014 smash hit remake of “Sleeping Beauty” continues the tale of the misunderstood witch, and has a few surprises in store for its viewers. In theatres everywhere today!
The story picks up five years after “Maleficent” when Prince Phillip proposes marriage to Maleficent’s goddaughter, Aurora. However, Phillip’s mother Queen Ingrith opposes any alliance with magical beings, and sabotages the celebratory dinner. But when Maleficent discovers there are more of her kind, the poor relations between humans and fairies could lead to war.
You can count on Disney to deliver spectacle, and this movie is best served on the big screen. Swooping flying shots showing off the landscape of this fairy tale kingdom puts the audience into the environment right away, and the grand scale is reflected in the costumes, sets, and creatures.
Even better, the antagonist of the story isn’t the intimidating Maleficent at all. Queen Ingrith, played intensely by Michelle Pfeiffer, is the true bad guy, resisting an alliance between humans and fairies, conniving power away from her peace loving husband and secretly building weapons of war below her castle.
Additionally, “Mistress of Evil” is a daring follow up that doesn’t shy away from dark imagery. The opening of the film is a sweeping, colorful display of the beauty of nature, represented by the fairies and magical creatures. This is excellently contrasted with the dark, dank iron works below the castle where the weapons of war are manufactured in secret, and the shadowy lairs of the winged Maleficent-like creatures.
It all culminates in a huge, fierce battle that may prove to be a little too intense for some children. But the violence remains fantastical throughout, and delivers a proper climax for this adventure. And these moments aren’t all pushed out immediately.
The film is a patient, brooding story of betrayals, jealousy, and carnage. The performances from the cast – particularly Angelina Jolie in the titular role – are energetic, piercing, and exceptional. The vastness of the forest and titanic size of the royal castle are well established, and top notch special effects will make you believe fairies are real, witches can sprout wings and fly, and even a crow can transform into a giant bear!
Fun and scary at the same time, and with the typical stereotypes of good and evil being thrown on their head, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” is an exquisite action fairy tale adventure you can enjoy along with your child. The film is now in theaters, and is a solid flick to celebrate the Halloween season with.