by Hans A. Carpenter
Release Date: October 18
Director: Joachim Ronning
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Mister Marquee Says: MEHlificent
Aurora (Elle Fanning) is Queen of the Moors ruling over the fairy population and frolicking with birds and all the Disney stuff. She is set to marry Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson), but a dinner with Phillip’s parents turns to disaster when Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer) provokes Aurora’s Godmother Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) into conflict, igniting a potential war with humans and fairies.
The Maleficent sequel is another in a long line of big budget fairy tale retellings full of sound and furry but signifying nothing. It takes itself too seriously, being neither innocent enough to be fun or serious enough to be good. It straddles the line awkwardly and has bland characters that give a good cast so little to do.
Angeline Jolie and Michelle Pfeiffer are particularly great while given very little of substance to which to cling. The first third of this movie is brutally boring, and the final act is jam packed with sprawling CGI action. A lot of it defies common sense.
This isn’t a terrible movie, it’s watchable for sure and the acting is commendable if wasted. At the end of the day though, this is another bland Disney rehash blockbuster. Oh, sure, the villain is the hero. I had hoped the “villain in a fairy tale was just misunderstood” trope would die off, but I guess not. Naturally, that inversion that rang the last drops of entertainment out of the Sleeping Beauty property led to a loud, meaningless franchise sequel. I’m not an old man yelling at clouds about sprawling franchises like Marvel ruining cinema like Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola. The Marvel movies have something to say and a reason to exist. This has neither. If you’re a Disney fanatic you’ll have a good time, otherwise, this probably isn’t for you. It wasn’t for me.