Movie Review: “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” doesn’t have enough of Maleficent to be great

2014’s “Maleficent” was a well done rework of the classic “Sleeping Beauty” fairy tale, and it succeeded because of some sharp visuals and star Angelina Jolie’s excellent work of bringing to life what was before just another forgettable Disney villain.

In the follow up “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” the visuals return but we simply don’t get enough of it’s titular character. That’s right. There’s not enough Maleficent in the Maleficent movie.

When Aurora (once again played by Elle Fanning) becomes engaged to Prince Phillip, we get quite the meet up between Maleficent and Phillip’s parents with his mother Queen Ingrith being played by Michelle Pfeiffer. When a royal power grab pits their worlds against each other, Maleficent once again must save the kingdom and theĀ  daughter she loves so very much.

Sound good? It should.

Unfortunately, we just don’t get enough of Jolie’s anti-hero which is just so much fun to watch. Instead we get mythology and needless additional characters that just serve as filler. The film’s formula is also too sugary sweet without Maleficent there to balance it out and it really cuts the film’s legs out from under itself. We don’t get nearly enough shared screen time with Jolie and Pfeiffer which is a crime within itself.

It is a great looking film though. One of the best looking of the year. And when it’s two A-list actors are featured they really take the story to the next level. Director Joachim Ronning does a fine job world building and the special effects are nothing less than the best Disney has to offer.

It’s not a bad film. If you enjoyed the first, then see this one. Just don’t go to the restroom when Maleficent is on screen. You might not see much more of her.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

GRADE: C

Rated: PG

Running time: 1 hour 58 minutes

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