Guess who’s coming to dinner
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is a beautiful ‘girl power’ sequel to the 2014 hit that retold the Sleeping Beauty fairy-tale from the ‘Evil Queen’ point of view. This is Angelina Jolie’s movie but Michelle Pfeiffer brought the ice cold Queen fire willing to take down the fae queen with the big horns and cheekbones that can cut a beotch.
This action film ups the color, action and digs deep into where, what and who Maleficient is since she looks like no other fairy creature in the forest that she defends to the death.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil opens with Aurora Queen of the Moors (Elle Fanning) holding court and embarking on a new life with her own Prince Philip (Harris Dickinson) of Ulstead but like MANY an interfering Mother in Law Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) does not care for the usurper out to steal her precious child! Prince Philip (Harris Dickinson) is an attractive replacement to the original actor but like Aurora (Elle Fanning) just doesn’t have the fire to hold against the flames of Maleficient who burns the scenery with every smirk, growl and look of love. The only one who’s able to burn as bright is Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer) the Ice Queen married to the kindly King John (Robert Lindsay) who’s she doesn’t love AND plots to steal his kingdom and murder all the Fae <scream>!
It all goes down under the dream closet of jewels, shoes and dresses <swoon> that hides the truly ugly her nefarious plan to start a war with iron and a semblance poisonous to our sweet woodland creatures. I have to say bad is looking MIGHTY good on the Queen Ingrith who’s choice to wear white, silver and drip in diamonds the color of ‘innocence’ as a stark difference to Maleficent in the classic LBD (Little Black Dress) but as both these powerhouse actors prove any line delivered from such talent can sound like Shakespeare!
The action speeds up at the engagement dinner when Maleficent meets the soon to be in-laws and Ingrith puts her plan into action causing a riff between mother, daughter, human and fae. As the film begins to create Maleficent mythology and background where she comes from we get to meet new dark fae as well as battle lines for the coming war. The film has a bit of hamhanded comment on racism and otherism in real life with the Dark Fae peaceful faction led by Conal (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who wants peace with humans while other faction wants to destroy them.
King John is ‘cursed’ by Maleficient, Aurora and Philliop navigate love and a mother’s desire to create a ‘mini me’, Ingrith’s plan to kill all the creatures during the nuptials well it’s a hodgepop that leads to what I want to see Maleficent kicking booty and I wish that we’d had some sort of fight between her and Ingrith. But if wishes were horses I’d have a Prince Charming sweep me away forever to a love castle.
I enjoyed the bitter dark chocolate bon bon fairy tale that was sumptuous to the eye and ears. It is appropriate for older small kids and kids at heart who love dark fairy-tales with a little Grimm to it. You can go see Maleficent: Mistress of Evil on October 18, 2019.
Production: Roth Films
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sam Riley, Harris Dickinson, Ed Skrein, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Lesley Manville, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert Lindsay, David Gyasi, Jenn Murray, Miyari, Warwick Davis
Director: Joachim Ronning
Screenwriters: Linda Woolverton, Noah Harpster, Micah Fitzerman-Blue, based on characters from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty and La Belle au Bois Dormant by Charles Perrault
Producers: Joe Roth, Angelina Jolie, Duncan Henderson
Executive producers: Jeff Kirschenbaum, Matt Smith, Michael Vieira, Linda Woolverton
Director of photography: Henry Braham
Production designer: Patrick Tatopolous
Costume designer: Ellen Mirojnick
Editor: Laura Jennings, Craig Wood
Music: Geoff Zanelli
Running Time: 118 minutes