Keepin’ It Reel: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Cassidy McKnight, Staff Writer

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Let me start out by saying this film was a long-awaited sequel to one my favorite live action Disney films. As expected, due to her impeccable performance in the first movie, Angelina Jolie killed the role of Maleficent on the big screen once again. This movie was very pleasing to the eye. Viewers who saw the first movie revisit the magical land of the Moors; and, like the last movie, the costumes for everyone in the kingdom and the Moors remained intricate and detailed. The designers put a lot of attention into making the movie as visually appealing as possible. Overall, the storyline was a little choppy, but the film outdid itself in the special effects, acting and costumes departments and, of course, Disney’s reoccurring theme of family.

We return to the Moors once again to learn that in the last five years, Aurora has kept at her duties as the queen of the Moors, granted to her by Maleficent in the first film, and her lover from across the river, Prince Phillip, has decided to pop the question to his sleeping beauty. As ecstatic as she is to be a newly engaged woman, Aurora fears what Maleficent, her godmother, will do when she finds out, so Phillip decides to smooth out the ruffled feathers between the two families over dinner. Dinner doesn’t even make it to the second course, with Maleficent and Phillip’s mother, Queen Ingrid, throwing quips and insults left and right. The queen just happens to hit a nerve in the dark faerie’s heart and as retaliation, Maleficent seems to have placed the original sleeping curse on the King. With the Queen’s supposed “true love’s kiss” being out of commission, so to speak, the King remains in his coma state while his “charming” wife wages a war against the Moors and Maleficent. During all of the fighting, Maleficent is faced with a choice: side with the humans, because she raised one, or side with herself.

The costumes, special effects and scenery remained my favorite part of this movie, just like the first movie. I have always enjoyed the nature that surrounds the world in “Maleficent” and this sequel did not disappoint. Along with the looks of the movie, we are given a lot more information about the Moor, its inhabitants and about Maleficent herself that was left out in the first film, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Another interesting fact about the “Maleficent” sequel is that the director, Joachim Rønning, definitely strayed from the original story. In this movie, the director had to make up a lot of things to pull the films together. However, he was able to create some interesting changes that didn’t necessary detract from the movie. Creating a sequel to a movie is no easy task, especially when you weren’t involved in the first installment. Some of these winging techniques worked, while others were lost in the paradox of Maleficent as Disney’s infamous antihero. Even though it was a little confusing at times, he was able to pull some of the best parts of the first movie and use them in the sequel.

The plot was a little choppy and misplaced in a few parts, but “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” was a creative and fun film to watch that I can’t wait to see again. However, the plot isn’t the most important thing, and it wasn’t bad enough to spoil the movie. Taking in all of the scenery, the always incredible acting of Jolie and the amount of imagination it took to bring this film to life, I would rate this “Maleficent” sequel a 6/10. I am not saying run and hand the nearest box office your money to go see this movie – the plot was a little too misleading for all that – but I am saying to be on the lookout for the Redbox DVD and grab it when you can, because it’s definitely worth a watch.

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