Review: Maleficent Mistress of Evil

The Sleeping Beauty spin-off follows up with an unnecessary sequel.

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Jennifer Le, Staff Writer

Disney brings back yet another bad movie to follow up a really great one for more money. Five years since her first movie, Maleficent returned in a roaring sequel. I’ve been waiting to see Maleficent: Mistress of Evil as soon as the first trailer came out, the tease of a new threat to Aurora and her fairy godmother’s happily ever after, and sitting tight was totally not worth it. But of course, most Disney sequels aren’t nearly as good as the first.

The plot was already quite obvious a few minutes into the movie. There’s scenes with the characters of the first movie and then the introduction of new ones. A couple moments later and you already notice who the antagonist of the movie is and what their objective is. Maleficent doesn’t give time for any climax for the plot as it already sets everything straightforward. There’s only about one twist in the movie, which was already given away in the trailer, making it less of a surprise.

Her wardrobe should reflect points in the plot that connect to her character, but with the faulty plot, her clothing couldn’t do much better. Maleficent was shaped into a motherly figure in the previous movie through her strong character development. It continues in this movie with her interactions alongside Aurora, and her maternal instincts begin to show more during different scenes regarding dramatized parental struggles.

Maleficent’s overall dark, gothic aesthetic remains in the sequel, mostly keeping with her long robes. It’s the battle outfit she wears that was also shown in the trailer that bothers me most. Maleficent’s character was built to be a mother in both movies, but the switch to a highly exposed battle armor (which is unrealistic if you’re trying to protect yourself) was extremely sexualized and not fit for the role, much less for a family film. The exposure of women’s bodies on screen like this is unnecessary and deprives focus from the point of her character in being Aurora’s metaphorical mother.

The movie attempts in explaining Maleficent’s backstory and origins, but it hardly gets enough screen time to fully explain everything as it’s overshadowed by the main plot. Perhaps that could be the focus of the next movie if Disney decides to write another one.

Disney sequels always seem to struggle, most likely because the first movie didn’t require it. Watching Maleficent five years ago was fun and I didn’t leave wanting more. It was just one of those movies that did well on it’s own and doesn’t need to be followed by another. The movie wasn’t great and I wouldn’t watch it again, but if you’re really dying to see another Angelina Jolie movie, be my guest. The producers should stop trying to exploit the character for extra money and put effort into new projects. There is no need to make a sequel to a movie that did amazing without the help.