Maleficent and her goddaughter Aurora begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by impending nuptials, unexpected allies, and dark new forces at play.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil may be a misnomer.
Her ferocity might frighten some. She may have issues managing her anger. And at times she might even be nasty. But when it comes to fictional fantasy characters, evil is a significant word.
Why not instead call her a fierce fae? Or, early in the film, a grumpy godmother? That might make more sense, especially because her goddaughter Aurora is now engaged to marry the Prince. And that has Maleficent feeling unpleasant. This isn’t just getting to know potential in-laws, it’s having to navigate two different kingdoms: hers and the humans’.
The film’s filled with fighting and violence, but, much like the protagonist, it may sound more gruesome than it actually is. There’s some positivity conveyed and celebrated, and the film’s set squarely within a fantasy context, looking highly processed through a fairy-tale filter. Most of the overt human death is offscreen, and, while the experience could be too distressing for certain viewers, it seems much of the film is intending to excite and enchant.
However, its efforts for action fueled impact might detract from more significant emotion. It’s hard to gasp in awe, or bask in dramatic feeling, when the pacing may barely give a chance to get a breath. Some might find it a beautiful and breathless experience. Others may feel like they could yawn from having the wind knocked out of them by a film that squandered some of its own potential.
There’s violence, some revealing attire, and fantasy magic. There are positive themes regarding love and peace. For viewers who are ready, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is Dove Approved Ages 12+.
The Dove Take:
Fantasy sequel has some positive themes amidst almost seemingly ceaseless action, magic, and fighting.