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.
Disney was in a special position many years ago. The release of 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland” went wonderfully, grossing over a billion dollars, but audience reaction was mixed. They marched ahead with a sequel, finally coming up with 2016’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” and the expensive feature failed spectacularly. With “Maleficent,” the situation is similar, as the studio managed to make a giant hit out of their reworking of “Sleeping Beauty” characters, delivering a CGI-heavy fantasy experience that pulled in audiences, but didn’t leave a lasting impression for many. Gambling on ticket-buyer loyalty once again, Disney offers “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” which brings back Angelina Jolie and big visuals to wow the crowds once again, this time betting on the Halloween season to stimulate box office interest. Much like “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” “Mistress of Evil” doesn’t do anything different, once again providing a numbing viewing experience that’s mostly about creating noise and limp mythos to expand on a world that wasn’t very interesting in the first place.
After surviving the troubled production of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” director Joachim Ronning returns to the realm of expensive Disney fantasy with “Mistress of Evil.” He certainly has experience with all manner of greenscreen cinematography and elaborate displays of CGI, constructing a giant digital realm for the characters, with the story returning to the world of the Moors, which is populated with all sorts of fairies and monsters, surrounded by deep forests and mountain ranges. Working with a flying creature such as the titular matriarch, the helmer is permitted time to arrange soaring shots of the land, noting the divide between the Moors and the humans, who remain behind walls in a large castle. There’s plenty of eye candy on display, and perhaps the picture is better off as a silent movie, giving pure cinematic wizardry a chance to be appreciated without the burden of a plot that doesn’t amount to anything.
Download Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)
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