When Maleficent first came out it received mixed reviews. Many liked it, but people took exception to the changes and free license it took. Maleficent went from one of the meanest Disney villains to a softy. Now understanding this story is different, will people love this latest Disney sequel as much as the original? Or is she doomed to fall? Here is my Maleficent 2 review.
Angelina Jolie IS the Dark Queen
Certain roles seem to be made for certain actors, either by nature of by performance. Hugh Jackman took Wolverine and made the role his own. Not only that, but he played the role for so long, people cannot imagine any one else bearing the claws. Ryan Reynolds on the other hand seemed born to play Deadpool. The actor exudes every quality Deadpool possesses and then some. The actor and character cannot be differentiated.
Angelina actually does both of these. She embraces the role so completely, that no one else could pull off the look or personality of Maleficent. Not only that, but Jolie’s haughty accent, the roll of her fingers, stare and sneer bring Maleficent to life in a way that dominates the screen every time she appears.
Maleficent 2 Review: Visually Stunning
Maleficent 2 really is one of the more visually stunning films of the year. Whenever they enter the Moores and land of the Fae, the colors are vibrant and pop. The creature textures add even more to the pallet as they represent everything from creatures to dandelions to trees and more. When Aurora meets Phillip under a willow tree, the trees “leaves” flutter off at the end and create a beautiful effect.
The fighting also looks good visually. For a Disney film they do a great job setting up the final battle. As Maleficent’s people attack the castle the fight unfolds in a very realistic way. Then there is the ending. I will not spoil anything, but I will say this. Maleficent may not take up her iconic dragon form, but the form she does assume looks amazing!!
Enter the One Woman Who Stares Down Maleficent
One of the biggest pulls for me with the trailers was the addition of Michelle Pfeiffer to the cast. Pfeiffer and Jolie staring each other down in the trailers looked fierce and powerful. The two heavyweight actresses could not find better opposites. The dinner scene where they square off across the table is positively electric.
There is just one problem. The scenes that contain both actresses are very few and far between. As great as their chemistry may be, they do not have the chance to show it off very often. Maleficent herself lacks screen time in this movie. In many ways this is more Aurora’s movie than any one else’s.
Maleficent 2 Review: Advertising Lies Once More
With Maleficent, we were led to believe we would witness the dark tale of Maleficent from her point of view. Instead we watched a good fae suffer at the hands of evil humans and betrayed by an evil king. The evil witch we knew from the Disney classic never came to fruition.
Maleficent 2 does the same thing. Trailers and commercials show Maleficent going off the deep end and declaring war on the humans. The movie even bears the name Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Instead of an evil queen we once again get a fae mistreated, framed and maneuvered into a war. People and circumstances and people piss the queen off, but again she is portrayed as a heroine.
Where’s the Story?
Perhaps the worst part of this movie belongs to the story itself. I get this movie is a Disney film and meant for younger audiences, but story is dull, flat and predictable. Every move can be seen and predicted from many scenes away. When they play with your emotions, it rings shallow because they immediately undo the tragedy they just committed.
Despite all the good acting and beautiful desings and scenes, Maleficent 2 comes across boring because they are so heavy handed with the script and its direction. Once again beautiful creatures are betrayed and tortured by the evil humans. Then of course everyone lays down their swords and become friends. This really kills most of the positives for the movie.
This movie really is quite beautiful and if you can overlook the dry and uninspired story, the movie isn’t bad. This movie may look better and was acted better, but the first movie as a whole was better than this latest effort.