October 18, 2019

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is in theaters on October 18th, 2019.

In Disney's "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil," a sequel to the 2014 global box office hit, Maleficent and her goddaughter Aurora begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by impending nuptials, unexpected allies and dark new forces at play. The years have been kind to Maleficent and Aurora. Their relationship, born of heartbreak, revenge and ultimately love, has flourished. Yet the hatred between man and the fairies still exists. Aurora's impending marriage to Prince Phillip is cause for celebration in the kingdom of Ulstead and the neighboring Moors, as the wedding serves to unite the two worlds. When an unexpected encounter introduces a powerful new alliance, Maleficent and Aurora are pulled apart to opposing sides in a Great War, testing their loyalties and causing them to question whether they can truly be family.

This film is directed by Joachim Rønning (who has previously directed Pirates of the Caribbean: Deadmen Tell No Tales) and it was a tonal disaster. This film is unbelievably corny and cheesy throughout, filled with awful Sleeping Beauty jokes and puns. The humor specifically stands out as strange, given that the film is about such a dark character. But what’s even stranger is once the second act starts, the film gets pretty serious (which I enjoyed tonally). But then when the third act comes, its back to the cheese.

Going into the characters of this film, they are all incredibly one dimensional. They all have their motives and stay in that narrow mindset throughout the feature. With no character growth, the plot also becomes very easy to predict what's coming next. This film is so easy to digest, its upsetting. Honestly, the only character to have growth or an arc at all is Maleficent and at this point it is not nearly as exciting as it was in 2014 to see Jolie as the mistress of evil.

One cast member I would like to acknowledge is Chiwetel Ejiofor as Conall. He had so much love in his performance and was the most interesting character in the cast. The problem is that he is only used as a plot device and probably has five minutes of screen time. But speaking of little amounts of screen time, this film ends like it hit a brick wall. I am not joking the ending really comes out of nowhere and they expect the audience to just skip out on the emotion just like the characters are doing. It’s pretty rough.

To conclude this review, I actually did get entertainment out of this film. It is not a good film and is filled with one note characters, cheesy jokes and not the best balanced plot. However, I think it is going to please its target audience. If you’re a fan of the first film and are okay with a very adolescent take on the character than you might enjoy this film. But I do not think it is for most.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Cabell Cabell (Senior Contributor) is a filmmaker from Tampa, Florida. He will watch just about any film but when he's not reviewing the latest hits he spends time directing films of his own.
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