Uneven, moronic and ultimately boring, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil fails to recapture the little magic left in the original with a bloated yet inoffensive cash grab despite a mostly committed Angelina Jolie.
When the prince proposes to Aurora, Maleficent must deal with the soon to be son-in-law’s family and their possible ulterior motives.
Joachim Rønning, one half of the duo behind Kon Tiki and the last Pirates of the Caribbean film, takes over directing duties this time around from a script by Linda Woolverton, Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster. Far from a disaster, Maleficent 2 mostly functions as a work of confused fusions of different tones and derivations from other films that add up to a mediocre at best film that isn’t worthy of the mostly impeccably talent involved.
Angelina Jolie, who brilliantly played the same character over five years ago, returns with a mostly committed performance but fails to recapture the essence or depth she once added to the role, with the script only letting her go so far as to become a caricature of the original character. Oddly enough, the title character is absent for a big portion of the film, leaving the film in the hands of mostly Michelle Pfeiffer and Elle Fanning who, like Jolie, try their best with an outdated and cliché ridden script offered.
By the end of the film, it dawns on you that the film you just watched merely serves as a beautifully-looking series of shots carefully put together by a money-hungry Disney hoping to capitalize on a popular character and the Halloween craze, but you quickly realize there’s no real meaning behind it. While deeply flawed, the first Maleficent at least had its feminist undertones and themes of abuse sprinkled throughout to merely serve as a treat to a dedicated audience, but this one miserably fails in the department and is never up to the task. As mentioned earlier, Rønning proves he’s able to conjure up some amazing visuals here, but when there’s no purpose behind them, they become irrelevant and ordinary by the moment the credits begin to roll.
In conclusion, ‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’ offers nothing new with an uneven and deeply flawed script that not even some good performances or capable direction are able to save from its mediocrity and blandness.