Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, the sequel to 2014’s Maleficent, hits theaters this Friday. And while I was a fan of the 2014 flick, and I appreciated the twist in that film, the 2019 follow-up is a different story. The plot is terrible, and the acting isn’t much better, and holy wow is there a lot of death -- granted its Disney’s form of death, where things disappear or stop moving, but it’s death none-the-less.
Earlier this year, in my review for Dumbo, I noted that there was a loss of innocence and a feeling of hopelessness that was being conveyed to the audiences. I walked away from Maleficent: Mistress of Evil with the same sentiment -- even though, of course, the film wraps up with a “happily ever after.”
This movie is heavy for adults with all the similies and metaphors and the topics they represent. Pile on the death -- and it just doesn’t seem age-appropriate to me. I’m not kidding when I say it’s essentially Game of Thrones for kids. Except here when you die -- you turn into flowers. What the…
So what’s the plot here? The fantasy adventure picks up five years after Maleficent. Aurora gets engaged, and there is a wedding on the horizon. All seems happy, but all is not as it seems. It’s evident that there is a new villain at work, and that villain is all too excited to turn people against Maleficent and the population of the moors. Struggle and chaos ensue as you would expect… but probably not on the scale that you would expect.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Trailer
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil: What I Liked and Didn’t Like
The messages that are at the core of this film (if something is different -- it doesn’t mean it’s bad / war and fighting aren’t the answer) are not clearly or responsibly conveyed. Sure, it’s a great message. We can all get along despite our differences and live together in peace. It’s a message that should be at the core of more films that our youth sees. HOWEVER, if this movie is supposed to be for kids, just hold off a bit on the death and sprinkle on a little more hope. Don’t make them feel like life is going to suck really, really badly before things get better. That’s not a message for a child’s movie to convey.
Also, I’m about to go on a rant with a slight spoiler here (bear with me). The lack of concern from Aurora when all her friends have been trapped and are actively being executed is one of the most horrific elements in this film, in my opinion. Sure, she briefly tries to stop it, but let’s be real, her lack of effort there is pretty apparent.
My main issue with this -- If we want to truly convey that it doesn’t matter if someone is different -- then shouldn’t we also highlight that their life matters as much as everyone else’s? Shouldn’t we grieve their loss just as much as everyone else’s?
And then you have Phillip, who thinks that he should try to talk things through with mother while she’s overseeing everyone being murdered. Why is he not actively trying to stop her?! Now’s not the time to call her a bad mom, Phillip. Newsflash to team Aurora/Phillip (aka the writers who wrote them), these characters are not the only people that matter here. And the fact that people who know and care about them are being killed -- and Aurora/Phillip don’t even mourn it -- is not only shocking selfish, but it’s also heartless writing. What type of message does that send to the kids that see this movie?
Alright, my rant is over. What did I like? The costumes and the sets were stunning. I imagine this one will get a couple of Oscar nominations in those categories. However, beyond the visuals -- there’s nothing in this film that I can say I enjoyed.
Overall, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil has just as bad of a plot as Game of Thrones Season 8. Honestly, there are a lot of parallels here between the two. It’s painful to watch, lacks a good bit morality, upsets the fans that loved the original story, lots of death, swap a dragon for a phoenix (and put it next to a girl that could have been a stand-in for Daenerys Targaryen), and top it off with some smokey, green, poison fire…
It’s just BAD, and it’s lazy writing paired with over-the-top acting. Disney has clearly run out of original content if movies like this are getting made, so on that note, I guess it’s good that they’ve bought Star Wars, Marvel, Fox, etc…
Sorry guys, this review may seem harsh, but it’s coming from someone that grew being called the Disney girl. I loved Disney, and this movie and a number of their other recent films have made me roll my eyes more times than I can count. They can do better than this… so I’m not sure why they didn’t.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Review: