Monday, October 21, 2019

Movie Review: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Michael's Movie Grade: C+

Well below a Disney classic, but a fun movie nonetheless.

What makes this movie work is that it has a great sense of atmosphere. This is a fantastic fantasy land, that feels very real. This movie does what fantasy movies are supposed to do, make you feel like you were transported somewhere else. The amount of imagination and work that went into this world is very impressive and effective. This kind of fantasy is especially highlighted in a creative and very well done action packed climax. Not only does this climax feature lots of great action, but it is perfectly blended into this fantasy world, making it much more effective. Not hurting at all is that Maleficent and Aroura are likable characters. There is little depth or complexity to them, but they are likable enough for us to enjoy watching them and care about their safety.

The plot of this movie isn't really a bad one, but it is one we have seen a million times before. It is hard for any seasoned movie goer not to know what is going to happen next at each moment. While most of the time this works reasonably well, there are times when it feels to be going through the motions and only doing what we except it to do. The villain is rather bland and cliché. However I will say I like that the movie doesn't try to make it a secret she is the villain. She is too obviously the villain for that to have worked. Since trying to keep the villain a surprise seems to be popular at Disney these days I was glad they overlooked that cliché. While the CGI is mostly quite good, the designs of the fairies is really ugly and unpleasant to look at.

While this is far from top notch Disney, it is still an enjoyable film and sometimes that is enough.

-Michael J. Ruhland    

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