In the new live-action Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Angelina Jolie returns as the title character in a sequel to the smash hit film based on the classic character from Walt Disney Studio’s animated 1937 classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarves .
Phillip’s parents King John (Robert Lindsay) and Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer) are eager for the union while Maleficent strongly opposes it and tells Aurora that there will be no wedding. When Aurora persists, Maleficent reluctantly accepts an invitation to dinner at the Castle where things soon go horribly wrong and Maleficent is accused of putting a curse on the King.
Injured while fleeing, Maleficent is taken in by others of her kind who are preparing for war against the humans as a dark and dangerous plan is underway, and the survival of the enchanted creatures is threatened.
The film then becomes a tense adventure with plenty of action, magic, and fantasy which is a nice framework for the great visual effects of the film.
I had been concerned that the film might be too dark for the usual audience for this type of film and there are moments where my concerns are validated. However there is much more charm, fantasy and wonder in the film and if anyone has ever read the original Grimm Fairy Tales; they will know that this is considerably toned down compared to what they offered.
The film has some great visuals to it but they never overshadow the characters in the film as Jolie seems to be taking gleeful delight in playing the title character but allows herself to have some fun with the character at times which helps her emerge as a well-rounded character versus being a staple Fairy Tale Villain.
The film may take a bit of time getting up to the main events but it does so to give more time for the characters to develop which helps them stand out from the usual good/bad monikers given to many fantasy characters.
The supporting cast is solid especially the performances by Pfeiffer and Chiwetel Ejiofor who add much to the complexity of the film, while invoking many themes of discussion that mirror what is happening in much of society today.
In the end the film delivers a strong performance by Jolie and plenty of magic to make this a modern fairy tale Disney classic.