Angelina Jolie puts on the black horns again: The Disney fantasy film Maleficent: Mistress of Evil continues the “Sleeping Beauty” revision “Maleficent: The Dark Fairy.” We’ll reveal in our review whether the sequel is better than the strenuous predecessor.
Prince Phillip (Harris Dickonson) introduces Aurora to his parents (Robert Lindsay and Michelle Pfeiffer).
The plot summary
A few years after the events of “Maleficent – The Dark Fairy”, many people from the neighboring kingdoms have already forgotten what really happened. And so the fairy Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) is generally considered a beastly villain who constantly places dark curses on innocent people. That’s a lie – or at least only a partial truth. But when Prince Philip (Harris Dickonson) asks for Aurora’s (Elle Fanning) hand in marriage, the princess still sees how quickly her foster mother Maleficent is losing her patience. The relationship between the two women is put to an even tougher test when the queen of Ulstead, the kingdom bordering Maleficent’s magical moors, invites you to dinner. There, old grudges between the humans and the fairies boil up again, and Maleficent and Aurora inevitably find themselves dragged on opposite sides of a major conflict. The family ties that have been formed are already in danger of being torn apart again and Maleficent seems to be rediscovering her dark powers for herself…
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Movie Meaning & ending
In May 2014, Disney released its answer to “Wicked” with “Maleficent: The Dark Fairy” : The novel, which inspired a successful musical, tells the “Wizard of Oz” story from the villain’s point of view and reveals that she is even was not a villain, but a misunderstood, backhanded heroine whose story has simply been poorly retold. “Maleficent: The Dark Fairy” followed this concept step by step, portraying the evil fairy from “Sleeping Beauty” as a heroine, the good king as an insane villain, and the good fairies as incompetent (and poorly animated) idiots. According to “Maleficent: The Dark Fairy,” it was the dark fairy Maleficent who woke the sleeping beauty with a kiss. Well, it was still her curse that put Aurora into a deep sleep, but she didn’t mean it like that, she had to take revenge on someone who played a part in her evil, people, we have to understand that. Although “Maleficent: The Dark Fairy” took in over $758 million worldwide, the film only received a poor response from the press, which was due, among other things, to the confused characterization of the main character and Linda Woolverton’s cramped storytelling.
Actress Angelina Jolie dominates the film as the dark fairy Maleficent.
Because the script by the “Alice in Wonderland” author lacks any of the brilliance of the unofficial inspiration “Wicked” and laboriously drags along. How much good there is in Maleficent, whether she was turned evil by Aurora’s father or into a dogged avenger or something in between, varies from scene to scene in “Maleficent: The Dark Fairy”, and repeatedly leading actress Angelina Jolie plays it completely differently the narrative style of the sequence offers it. The result: What could have seemed like a family fantasy film version of rape-and-revenge cinema with a squinted eye turned out to be more like a funny fairy-tale slapstick comedy about stupid fairies, clumsy children and a clever heroine who is above her idiotic environment rolls your eyes. Atmosphere, gripping figure drawing and thematic significance? None.
Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) has grown up and is about to get married.
Five and a half years later, “Maleficent: Forces of Darkness” picks up exactly where the first part left off. Not in terms of content, but in terms of craftsmanship – this time too the script is extremely erratic: The script team Linda Woolverton, Noah Harpster & Micah Fitzerman-Blue opens the film with a narrator’s comment, according to which the events from the first part have been forgotten by people and the “true” story of Maleficent and Aurora has given way to the well-known fairy tale in public. Starting a sequel with “Yeah, you can practically forget about part one, as most of the characters in the film have them too” is a brave step that is suitable for a subversive Lord and Miller comedy – but not for “ “Maleficent: Forces of Darkness” as simply repeating the character arc from part one turns out to be a lame excuse. Like Robert Stromberg’s predecessor, the sequel by Joachim Rønning (one half of the “Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge” directing duo) is about Maleficent initially being a well-meaning but strict and distrusting fairy who, however, appears intimidating. When her evil is played out, her angry side takes over – and the rest of the film is about Maleficent’s external struggle against her adversaries and her internal struggle to regain her composure. And like the first “Maleficent” film, this one also messes up its basic idea because the filmmakers don’t create a believable characterization of their title character. Because we never go into depth (even if only on a popcorn cinema level) what Maleficent is all about, but only experience her as a stern-looking, coolly laughing human-sized fairy with an arched back, there is no basis for understanding her inner conflict understand.
Jolie visibly enjoys her gothic costumes, but Maleficent is someone who is completely misunderstood and the victim of prejudice, an overly proud personality who carelessly adds fuel to the fire of conflict, a wounded soul with a fake, rough shell or a villain who was converted and now suffers a relapse varies from scene to scene. And since these rapid personality changes come without any narrative or acting connection and the meager script lacks an understanding of complex characters, this cannot be excused by saying that Maleficent is simply a very multi-faceted, fickle character. And apart from the title heroine, all of the characters in “Maleficent: Forces of Darkness” are complete replicas anyway, and even the term “one-dimensional” is sometimes too patronizing. Aurora wanders through the picture naively and with wide eyes, her future husband has no personality whatsoever, Academy Award candidate Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave”) is allowed to breathe a few sentences of exposition pregnant with meaning and Michelle Pfeiffer is criminal as the spiteful queen unchallenged.
Jenn Murray is most likely to stab (“Brooklyn”) positively stands out, whose role of an unscrupulous henchwoman is also exaggerated, but Murray seems to be the only one in the ensemble to guess what kind of film she is in: In order to inject at least a touch of energy into the dull, fantasy story, she lays it on with relish – so trembles In one sequence, her character lusts all over her body while she brings innocent beings to their doom. That’s weird, but at least it’s something. Murray’s acting decision in said sequence is pretty much the only bit of guts in “Maleficent: Forces of Darkness”, because unless the script hastily revises dramatic moments, Rønning and the editors Laura Jennings & Craig Wood simply cut away before what is shown becomes emotional could argue. For a film whose Teflon production contains trace elements of the themes of intolerance and hate crimes, it’s saying something when the memory of it disappears into nothingness just a few hours after going to the cinema. A few atmospheric pictures also help (camera: Henry Braham, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”) and the striking costumes by designer Ellen Mirojnick (“Greatest Showman”) no more: “Maleficent: Forces of Darkness” is a noisy film in which, strictly speaking, a lot happens, but in the end nothing sticks at all. What are the chances that part three will begin with a narrator explaining that in the years following the events of this fantasy adventure, everyone has once again forgotten what happened?
Conclusion: “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” is not quite as erratic as part one, and Joachim Rønning’s imagery is not as muddy as that of its predecessor. But a film that doesn’t constantly annoy, but is primarily boring, and only occasionally sucks, is still a bad film.
“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” can be seen in USA cinemas from October 17, 2019.