Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil [2019] ★★½

As someone who, swimming against the current, didn’t care much for the first “Maleficent” movie, I thought this sequel was far more enjoyable. While the first film focused on retelling a classic story, this one has some new ideas that kept me entertained at every turn. Angelina Jolie reprises her role as the title character, and she nails it again. Years have passed since the events of the first movie and her goddaughter Aurora (Elle Fanning) is about to marry Prince Philip (Harris Dickinson), an alliance that could bring peace to both Kingdoms once and for all. But his mother (played with spite and malice by Michelle Pfeiffer) has some other ideas. It’s a wickedly fun premise that doesn’t always stay on track, but still gets the job done with a beautiful make-believe environment and with some of the funniest lines you’ll hear in a “Maleficent” film (I’m just as surprised as you are). Everyone gets a chance to shine here, but I especially enjoyed watching Michelle Pfeiffer create mayhem and chaos in a role she was probably born to play. So yes, while “Mistress of Evil” doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it still offers enough visual entertainment to justify its existence. I believe kids and their parents will have a good time with it.

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