Maleficent: Mistress of Evil feels like the most soap opera movie from Disney in a long time.
Aurora (Elle Fanning) receives a marriage proposal from Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson replacing Aussie Brenton Thwaites who is off busy in the DC TV Universe), much to the disgust of her Fairy Godmother Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) who would prefer to turn the young man into a goat. As she says to Aurora in the trailer “Don’t…ruin my morning”.
The young Queen of the Moors convinces her horned guardian to accompany her to dinner at the Prince’s castle were we meet his mum – the scheming, uptight and icy Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer) and dim Dad King John (Robert Lindsay).
It’s a pretty relatable scene even for those of us without horns, supernatural powers or royal blood. The dreaded first meeting between your own parents and those of your partner. In my own personal experience these haven’t gone well. But in MMOE, the bad blood boils over as Maleficent takes the royals to task for the disappearance of fairies in the Moors, while the blue bloods don’t take kindly to being accused.
Hapless Prince Phillip seeks to calm down proceedings by ordering more wine, and his ineffectual attempt is an entrée to some serious main event action as Maleficent and Ingrith face off at the dining table.
The Queen has help from Gerda (Jenn Murray), a Game of Thrones styled minion who is hard at work deep underneath the castle manufacturing munitions specifically designed to deal with enchanted creatures.
Maleficent meanwhile is blamed for putting the King under a spell, and escapes the castle under power of her impressive wings, but is wounded and comes to in a mysterious underground lair.
It is here that we meet her allies in the tale, the Dark Fey, led by Conall (Chiwetel Ejiofor) & Borra (Ed Skrein), a race of outcasts who differ on the best way to co-exist with humans. “Can’t we all get along” vs “Kill “Em All!”.
The film builds to an enormous finale as the two tribes face off, and it definitely brought to mind some of the finer moments of Game of Thrones, albeit in a much more PG fashion.
3 & ½ Stars – “Game of….Thorns?”