If you’re wondering if MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL is a good movie, you’re honestly doing it wrong. All you need to know is Angelina Jolie and Michelle Pfeiffer are starring in a new Disney film together and exchange some of the best snarls, shade, and sneers that I have seen on screen in a long time. Yes there is too much CGI and yes the plot is kinda meh at times, but is that what you’re really here to see? As a dedicated Real Housewives fan, I was in heaven.
In the first film, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) basically said f the patriarchy and proved she wasn’t the evil villain we may have thought her to be… or at the very least she was complicated. The sequel finds Maleficent saying f discrimination and the elite, while Aurora (Elle Fanning) is busy getting betrothed to Prince Philip (Harris Dickinson). But of course the engagement isn’t going to be as sweet when you have monsters-in-law, Aurora’s godmother Maleficent and Philip’s mother Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer). Both women hate each other as much as they hate their child’s fiancé, which creates massive drama at the get-to-know-you engagement dinner. Think Teresa Giudice, Real Housewives of New Jersey, flipping tables drama… except this dinner ends with an incapacitated king and Maleficent to blame.
With the king out of the picture, Ingrith takes charge and tries to get rid of Maleficent once and for all by turning the kingdom and Aurora against her. Ingrith also has a more sinister plan involving the adorable woodland creatures, which I won’t spoil here but honestly was super stressful/upsetting at times (parents take heed). As the mistress of evil—an honestly weird name for what this character is now portrayed to be—we of course know Maleficent won’t go down without a fight and enlists help from her friends Diaval (Sam Riley), Borra (Ed Skrein), and Conall (Chiwetel Ejiofor).
When Pfeiffer and Jolie are together in a scene, it is absolute fire. The icy glares, the subtle digs, THE CHEEKBONES… I don’t know how we were so lucky to get this casting. And don’t get me started on the costumes. I would love Disney to do a traveling show that just displays the costumes from the film because they are breathtaking. Unfortunately, the meetings between “evil” queens are few and far between. I honestly wouldn’t have minded the film just being a 6 hour recording of the two actresses eating dinner and throwing shade as the room temperature slowly rises.
Elle Fanning, as always, is delightful and really does embody the kind nature and goodness of Aurora. Elle’s endearing kindness, juxtaposed with Pfeiffer’s icy evil queen is not only super fun to watch but also helps reinforce the sweet (in its own way) mother-daughter relationship between Maleficent and Aurora. Notice that I haven’t talked much about the rest of the cast, who are unfortunately forgettable amongst everything else going on. And that’s saying a lot because I have a huge crush on Ed Skrein and Chiwetel Ejiofor is one of the best actors working today.
Unfortunately, just as in the first MALEFICENT film, the CGI is way overboard. I know this is a fantasy world, but it consistently took me out of the movie when everything was so obviously computer generated. Those little CGI creatures sure were cute, though.
Bottom line, if you are going to see MALEFICENT for any other purpose than to see Pfeiffer and Jolie duke it out Real Housewives style, you are 1) insane and 2) not in it for the right reasons. You don’t need to rush to see this on the big screen, but maybe wait for the rental so you can rewind the good parts and watch them over and over and over. Or is that just me?
My Review: B-