Reviewed by Alicia Glass
As Maleficent’s goddaughter Aurora prepares to marry her childhood sweetheart and the families and kingdoms of humans and Fae try to come together, hidden dark forces attempt to tear them apart!
Who doesn’t love a wedding? Many of the to-be in-laws, that’s who. King John (Robert Lindsay) seems fine and dandy with the idea of a Fae-raised daughter who was declared Queen of the Moors, royalty in her own right. But his frosted-white wife, Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer), can’t stand the whole Fae society, or the idea that her daughter-in-law to-be Aurora (Elle Faning) was raised among them, and is determined to crush that under her perfect slipper heel as soon as possible. Prince Philip (Harris Dickinson) knows perfectly well where his fiancé comes from, and espouses a proper level of respect for her loving if terrifying guardian, Maleficent. And how does Maleficent feel about all this nonsense? For her ‘Beastie’, as she had nick-named Aurora in the first film, she would suffer just about any and all torments, including a strained meet and greet dinner with Philip’s parents.
Trusted crow-man servant Diaval (Sam Riley) tries his level best to help Maleficent act normal-ish in preparation of meeting Philip’s parents, but truly, those horns and fangs are all but impossible to hide. The headdress that Aurora pleaded for Maleficent to wear, to cover her amazing Fae horns, might hurt, but anything for Aurora’s happiness.
The meeting dinner goes from fine to bad to worse at a rapid clip, as Queen Ingrith smiles and lashes out repeatedly, showing who the truly evil one at the table is more than once. If the iron in the cutlery wasn’t intentionally bad enough, nearly being attacked by that damnably familiar cat was all but the final straw, and in the midst of chaos, the white Queen takes the advantage to show her true colors and start an all-out war of extermination against the Fae of the Moorlands!
Devastated, blamed for a bunch of crimes she didn’t commit as per usual, wounded and left for dead, Maleficent is rescued by the most unexpected of saviors, Conall (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who introduces her to a hidden world and long-lost family. Tensions mount as humans gird themselves with hideously effective iron weapons and ghastly stolen Fae death magic, whilst the innocent folk of the Moorlands prepare to go to a wedding they were, after all, invited to. And Maleficent, the supposedly evilest one of them all, has to make a choice about who her real family, and enemies, are, before its too late!
The cinematography for the sequel is outstanding – all those wings, so many bright motley Fae folk running about, even the purported nobleman Fae slave-working for the white Queen, Lickspittle (Warwick Davis), gets enhanced shiny colors that make the movie really pop visually. As she so often does, Michelle Pfeiffer plays a truly excellent villain, so much more evil than the title of the film applies. And of course Angelina Jolie as Maleficent is another fun sharp-cheekboned jaunt through misunderstandings and the chaotic situations that can arise from them when people just won’t talk to each-other!