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'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' review: More extravagant than the prequel

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With black horns, distinctive cheekbones and wide wings, Jolie appears apt as a beautiful devil, but one with a heart.
The sequel to Walt Disney Co’s 2014 hit 'Maleficent', 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' puts three women at the centre of a fight for control between humans and fairies. When Princess Aurora (Fanning) becomes engaged to Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson), the proposed marriage sets off a chain of events leading to a fatal clash between Maleficent (Jolie) and Aurora’s future mother-in-law, Queen Ingrith (Pfeiffer).

This one is also a straight-forward narrative of good versus evil that director Rønning exploits with average performances and world-class animation.

In fact, the sequel amplifies the grandeur with more fascinating creatures and extravagant costumes. From the mysterious forests of the moors to the stunning castles and the spooky props, everything appears real. But instead of aiming for the simplicity of a fairy tale, Mistress of Evil gets into the politics and details of the fairy-human struggle.
​Harris Dickinson as Prince Phillip, Elle Fanning as Aurora, Robert Lindsay as King John and Michelle Pfeiffer as Queen Ingrith in a scene from the film.​
Harris Dickinson as Prince Phillip, Elle Fanning as Aurora, Robert Lindsay as King John and Michelle Pfeiffer as Queen Ingrith in a scene from the film.

The film explores the complex relationship between characters, eventually leading to a war between Ingrith’s army and the magical spirits of the moors, spread out across vast digitally-created palace grounds.

The plot drew its inspiration largely from the inventive redemption of a classic Disney villain. With black horns, distinctive cheekbones and wide wings, Jolie appears apt as a beautiful devil, but one with a heart.

You will wish that she had more screen time than the rest of the cast, among whom only Pfeiffer portrays the role with authority. Aurora, like many of Fanning’s performances, offers a welcome dash of naturalism amid all the CGI action.
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