Run time: 119 mins
Angelina Jolie and her cheekbones that resemble the white cliffs of Dover return for another helping of devilish, fantasy adventure
Prince Philip (Harris Dickinson) has finally popped the question to Aurora (Elle Fanning). And so, naturally, the boy’s parents – King John (Robert Lindsay) and Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer) – invite Maleficent, who raised Aurora, for a celebratory feast. Yet Ingrith has ulterior motives up her pearl-encrusted sleeves. She’s pushing Maleficent’s buttons: dismissing her fellow fairy folk, while enthusing about the fact Aurora will finally have a real mother. This gives Jolie an excuse to turn evil again.
The film is simultaneously a world-building bonanza, a melodramatic anti-war parable, and a high-camp soap opera that features Jolie, Pfeiffer, and Fanning as three contrasting archetypes of femininity (the men are largely side-lined while the warrior queens do battle). . It’s a tonal mess, but it has admirable confidence. In addition to Disney fans, who will find it comes with plenty of loving homages to past princesses, Mistress of Evil will appeal equally to audiences who love bold, bonkers genre storytelling. (Jack Whiting)