The original Maleficent, in 2014, cleverly inverted the tale of Sleeping Beauty and her spectacularly horny (sorry) and maybe-not-so-evil fairy godmother. It kept my interest, mostly, but I wouldn’t call it great, or even memorable, cinema.
In this prime example of an accounting office-mandated sequel, Angelina Jolie reprises her awesomely costumed title character, as does Elle Fanning as the fought-over Beauty. You’d think the filmmakers, after signing both Jolie and Michelle Pfeiffer (as a Trumpian would-be dictator), would give them something more to do than glare at each other and chew the computer-generated scenery. Blink and you’ll miss Chiwetel Ejiofor.
This is haphazard and lazy filmmaking on every level. I wouldn’t say the plot sags in the middle, because I couldn’t really detect a coherent plot. The dialog is flat, the SFX is Disney dazzling but relentless and ultimately cloying, the political and social commentary (intolerance is bad) is half-assed and obvious, the hint of genocide is a major buzz-kill, and the unsurprising final battle scene is a big, brightly colored snore. This is a scam.
Oct 18 (118 min)