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“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” See it in IMAX



Review by John Delia

A Trojan horse of a movie, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil brings a powerhouse of Disney magic that will astound and delight everyone. Filled with so many characters that you will want to either see it again on the big screen or get it on home video so you can freeze frame to see every one of the munchkins close up. The direction is incredible keeping the main actors in character in the thick of things with all that’s going around them. And as far as the cinematography goes, it’s a wow. And although it has a lot of adventurous action sequences, this sequel doesn’t get as dark as the first one.

It’s a beautiful day and Prince Phillip has come to ask for Princess Aurora’s hand in marriage. She accepts and now it’s just the task of telling her God Mother Maleficent that she has made a decision that will bring the land of the Moors together with the human kingdom. Oh, and guess who’s coming to dinner at the Human Kingdom… yup!

Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert Lindsay, Elle Fanning, and Harris Dickinson in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil from Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Going with a seasoned director Joachim Ronning proves to be the right choice. Dealing with a lot of special effects and CGI when he took the helm of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, he was prepared to make a lot of magic happen and he does for Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Jam packing hundreds of fairies, pixies, elves, and other cute little goblins, then adding the awesome flying Feys, crumbling castles, and walking trees, he puts on a ground and aerial show that will be remembered by the whole family.

Taking the film down a peg however, is the not so stellar acting by the main roles. In many cases the actors tend to be off character reading their lines rather than giving them any personality. It’s not a lot, but some of the key scenes did not have the energy that I was expecting from Maleficent, Prince Phillip, Queen Ingrith and especially El Fanning’s Aurora. Most likely the youngsters will not give it a notice and after all, they are the judge in the end.

David Gyasi and Michelle Pfeiffer in Maleficent Mistress of Evil from Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The world that the movie production provides is jam packed with wonders and amazement, especially the Moors where elves, fairies, walking trees, lively flowers and other wild life make up Queen Maleficent and Princess Aurora’s kingdom. There are so many fun things that unless you are completely focused on the fields, you’ll never see them all. If you see the film in 3D or IMAX you will also be treated to a carnival ride in the beginning as you are flown into the Moors. It’s a gamble on the part of Disney because making one airsick or just a bit nauseous could put a damper on those with vertigo. But, they can do as I did and just look away from the screen or mom can cover the skittish one’s eyes during the quick flight.

Chiwetel Ejiofor in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil from Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil has been rated PG for intense sequences of fantasy action/violence and brief scary images. The very young and immature may need to sit by mom or dad during this presentation, but if there is a popcorn and a soda next to the tot, they may be grabbing that. See it in IMAX if possible as this one is shown floor to ceiling and full width with Dolby Atmos sound making the audience eagle eyed and open eared for all the astonishment.

FINAL ANALYSIS: a very good sequel, much better than to the original. (4 out of 5 Stars)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer, Harris Dickinson,  Robert Lindsay, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sam Riley, Ed Skrein, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Lesley Manville, Warwick Davis, Jenn Murray, David Gyasi, Judith Shekoni, John Carew, Freddie Wise
Directed by: Joachim Rønning
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
MPAA Rating:  PG for intense sequences of fantasy action/violence and brief scary images
Running Time: 1 hr. 58 min.
Opening Date: October 18, 2019
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Released in: Standard, 3D, IMAX and IMAX 3D with Dolby Atmos sound

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