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Published On: Fri, Oct 18th, 2019

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Review: From ‘girl power’ to great CGI, the sequel flies high

Maleficent:  Mistress of Evil opens in theaters October 18, 2019 and takes live action Disney films back down the well-traveled road of the traditional fairy tale.  Combining an engaging story with CGI magic and fabulous special effects makeup will definitely make “Maleficent 2” a hit for the holiday season.
The film tells the story of Princess Aurora, who is now Queen of the Moors, and her engagement to her true love.  But like all good fairy tales, there has to be a villain.  In this case, the villain is predictably Aurora’s future mother-in-law.  While Queen Ingrith (played by  Michelle Pfeiffer) is outwardly expressing only love and adoration for the innocent princess, she is secretly plotting to launch a war between the creatures of the Moors and the humans of her kingdom.
Prince Philip and Princess Aurora are stressing over a dinner party where the King and Queen have invited the much-hated Maleficent (Angelina Jolie reprises her popular role) and they are completely unaware of the evil plans underfoot.  The Queen quite obviously pokes at Maleficent and creates a situation where it appears that the misunderstood godmother has cast a sleeping spell on the King.  With the die cast, things get out of hand and the Queen gets the war she’s been desiring since childhood.
The film will keep most children engaged for the entire 2 hour running time. Very young ones might be a little frightened by the introduction of a variety of mystical creatures which share Maleficent’s bloodline.  As Maleficent gets back to her roots, she remembers the true nature of her heart and rises like a phoenix to save the Moors, the Kingdom, and most importantly, Aurora.  Although Philip truly loves Aurora, the film focuses on the strength of the deep love between the fairy godmother and her beloved Beastly once again.  In modern Disney fashion, “girl power” is also a subliminal message that is reminiscent of the earlier film.  In fact, the male characters are extremely diminished and do not step up to play the hero in any significant way.
The entire cast gave wonderful performances, but I must give a special shout out to both the special effects makeup and costume departments.  Without their magnificent work, the film would not have been such a feast for the eyes.  The CGI work was essential to the production, but it is expected that this element would be well done.  The makeup and costumes truly jumped out at me as the cherry on top of this production.  Considering the production as a whole, this is a big-screen viewing experience.  If audiences wait for the DVD, they will probably be underwhelmed by all the fabulous work of the artistic teams that brought the film to life.  So, plan a couple of hours, get the hot buttered popcorn, and take the family for a pleasurable movie experience.
The film also stars Elle Fanning, Ed Skrein, Harris Dickinson, Juno Temple, Imelda Staunton, Lesley Manville, Robert Lindsay, Jenn Murray and David Gyasi.
Author: Debbie Sage
On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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