*Spoilers in case you think a Disney movie ends sadly
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.
The original Maleficent was an important movie because it was one of the first times someone took existing IP and made the main character the typical villain. We have now seen that done with Venom, Joker, and others. However, what do you write about a Disney Live Action sequel after they have already put out 3 other Live Actions this year (Lion King, Dumbo, Aladdin)?
Well the first thing we can talk about is how Disney clearly is taking their successful Marvel model and trying to write similar stories to cater to their audience. Directed by Joachim Ronning Maleficent 2 gives our titular character the classic fallen hero story line in order to show a lot more character development you can ever imagine!
After we get the classic Meet the Parents dinner where Aurora (Elle Fanning) and Phillip (Harris Dickinson) invite Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) to meet his parents King John (Robert Lindsay) and Queen Igrith (Michelle Pfeiffer. Things of course do not go well and it sets off a chain of events that makes Maleficent look like a Mistress of Evil (see what I did there). Long story short there is a much more sinister plot at the helm of this movie and we see Maleficent be knocked down and have to find her own journey.
The story is very classic Disney and brings us nothing new especially after seeing How to Train Your Dragon 3 (will make more sense if you see it). We see a classic battle of two warring sides of the same city, and how they interact with one another. I thought the visuals and some of the acting were really fun and vibrant, but the story just really did not do it for me.
Stock Neutral – Angelina Jolie was born to play Maleficent and looks incredible in the role. She does everything she can, but she is just so famous this movie does nothing for her actual stock. When I think of Jolie though this costume definitely comes to mind.
Stock Neutral – Michelle Pfeiffer is a legend and nothing is going to change that at this point. This was her second evil queen she has played (first was Stardust) and she does so with calmness yet ruthlessness you might think. She really is timeless and I love what she does here.
Stock Down – Elle Fanning really went for it in some scenes but just did not get enough to do with her part. At the end when she was tasked with doing some of the rescuing it just felt cartoonish in her energy and just did not work for me.
Stock Down – Harris Dickinson was just useless in this movie. He spends the whole time off the screen then just tries to take all the credit at the end. OUT on this guy.
*A couple other tidbits
- Why was Chiwetel Ejiofor in this?
- Would love to see the entire variety of Horn covers ole Mal has.
- I loved all the creatures from the Moors.
This was clearly straight out of the Disney money machine and that showed most of the time on screen. This is a kids movie, but it really does not have a ton of depth and even with Maleficent’s back story it did not make me care that much more about her.
*All of my Movie Ratings can be found here.
*You can find my Disney Live Action Rankings below