While I remember enjoying the 2014 live-action reimagining of Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty,” “Maleficent,” I could barely remember the details of the world-building and went into “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” with pretty low expectations. Luckily, the film exceeded them.
The plot that follows a high-fantasy race war between fae and humans, with stunning visual effects. I’m fairly certain there were minimal practical effects, however, the CGI was fantastic and in my opinion, is right up there with “Avatar.”
Five years have passed since Aurora (Elle Fanning) was woken up from the sleeping curse by her godmother Maleficent (Angelina Jolie.) Since then she has ruled over her kingdom, the Moors, while courting Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson) from a neighboring kingdom.
Unfortunately, the way her story was told to the people living in this world has painted her as the villain, even though in reality she freed Aurora from the curse she originally cast. So when Prince Phillip asks Aurora to marry her and to celebrate, she and Maleficent are invited to dinner by Phillip’s mother, Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer). The scene is tense and sparks war between humans and the fae.
This film also explores the other surviving members of Maleficent’s race, the Dark Fae, and we see what makes her unique, as she is, of course, the most powerful of them all. As someone who’s very into fantasy settings, I was completely enthralled with the world-building and the appearance of many of the new races, and the enhanced returning ones as well.
A few of the new characters from this film act as though they’re straight out of an episode of “Game of Thrones,” in that they are conniving, completely ruthless and are willing to, quite frankly, slaughter innocents for their ideals and power. While the violence isn’t graphic, it’s absolutely implied and some scenes may scare children.
I’m not a huge action movie guy, but as a horror/fantasy fan I found myself glued to the screen and really loved the fighting. I cared about what happens to these characters. I’m definitely a bigger fan of this film than the predecessor, even though this story wasn’t a familiar one. I’m definitely taking some friends and going back to see it a second time.
“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” is surprisingly rated PG. Some scenes may be too intense for young children, but I’d say if they’re a fan of big monsters and cool fight scenes (we all know a kid or two like that), then they’ll be fine. The film runs for about two hours. We were able to experience it in IMAX, and I’d recommend the same to you as well. There are no end credit scenes.
Check out the trailer below:
In The Parks:
The original animated Sleeping Beauty is featured at Disney Parks around the world, with Aurora meeting guests at most parks, and Maleficent making appearances in shows and parades like “Fantasmic” and the “Festival of Fantasy Parade.” Guests at Disneyland in California and Disneyland Paris are able to visit and walk through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.