Just over five years ago, what has been probably the very best Disney live action remakes of all time, Maleficent, premiered, and while that live-action recreation of Sleeping Beauty, a classic fairy tale by Charles Perrault, had, like every famous movie, kind of a divided reception, it was not entirely enthusiastic for he critics, although the audience seemed to love it, and Disney found 760 million reasons (dollars) to make a sequel, without a doubt the movie became famous all over the world and also in other markets, like the hispanic ones, where only in Argentina the movie theaters welcomed almost two million viewers, so that was obviously enough justification for Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil, which got just released a few days ago at the time of writing. The problem is that this second installment - beyond a notable cast that repeats its main figures and the spectacular visual paraphernalia - looks even less convincing than its predecessor we'll try to tell you why.
Between the romantic epicness, the fantastic cinema (again full of wonderful fairies, gnomes, walking trees, and so on) and a warlike mess that combines a bit of Game of Thrones and the same as The Lord of the Rings, the Norwegian director Joachim Rønning (responsible for the valuable Kon- Tiki and another Disney production like Pirates of the Caribbean: Vengeance of Salazar) builds a story that never fascinates or entertains too much it relies too much in the special effects and forgets about the originality and personality that made the first film successful, but we are used to seeing franchises fall into the ambition of the box office, and sadly lose all their magic in the process.
The scenes (adventures in the forest, flights over paradisiacal landscapes, mass parties, spells, battles that are geniously incredible for our eyes, there's no denying that to the movie) follow one another and in several cases they even reach moments of undoubted beauty, but the narration looks almost always mechanical, forced, calculated, artificial, thus preventing a greater emotional connection with the conflicts and the characters, and from here on, there is honestly little to nothing that can overcome a flaw like this in any movie.
Although the material that touches it in luck is not particularly subtle or inspired, the best of Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil has to do with its cast: from the magnetism of Angelina Jolie (this time with a character that is much more of a heroine than a villain) until the conviction of Elle Fanning as the Aurora who wants to marry Prince Philip (Harris Dickinson) and thus join two kingdoms, going through a Michelle Pfeiffer this time little used as the ruthless -and archetypal- Queen Ingrith, mother of Philip and future Aurora's mother-in-law.
The big problem with this spawn is that it takes itself too seriously. Every once in a while a breath of irony is filtered, which is assembled with freshness to that saturated visual palette. But those few instances are suffocated under insufferable paragraphs, as solemn as underlined, that cancel the game with any kind of allegory. There is nothing suggestive in Maleficent: Owner Of Evil. Everything is clumsily told in this story that involves a fantasy realm, in which paradoxically the enchantness shines by its absence.
The images of imposing castles with their lavish rooms, the multitude of tiny and charming characters intended for the enjoyment of the little ones (although the film is qualified for over 13 years) and the intensity it brings in each of Angelina Jolie's appearances don't manage to compensate for the lack of coherence and fluidity that in several passages afflicts a story with few findings and spasmodic achievements.