Maleficent 2 is a Jolie good fantasy, says Rashid Irani
Five years after her career-defining turn as Maleficent, Angelina Jolie returns to play the titular antagonist in this sequel to the fantasy blockbuster. This time, she even inadvertently starts a war that puts the lives of fellow fairies at risk.
After reluctantly blessing the impending marriage of her goddaughter (Elle Fanning, also reprising her role), the winged sorceress has to contend with a new villainess (old-timer Michelle Pfeiffer, hiss-worthy) in the form of the groom’s mother.
Taking the reins from Robert Stromberg, incoming Norwegian director Joachim Ronning (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) maintains a breakneck pace throughout the two-hour runtime. He also outclasses the original with wondrous visuals, a cornucopia of colourful characters, and a tonne of exciting set pieces. Especially noteworthy are the soaring vistas during the concluding conflagration. For a change, even the 3D effects are wonder-inducing.
While the fairy-tale narrative is hardly original, the film does impart the requisite messages of peace, tolerance and forgiveness. A true spectacle, …Mistress of Evil makes for a fun matinee.