Should children see the new Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, an honest parent review of the Disney live action film. No spoilers. #Maleficent May contain commissioned links.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Movie Review | Safe for Kids?
Something wicked this way comes. And it starts with the letter “M.”
When the first Maleficent movie came out, I was floored. A plot twist on the usual fairy tale, this was one of the few Disney live-action movies that I could fully get behind. It was dark, clever, heart wrenching and villain-loving. It truly made you question, what is the real Sleeping Beauty story? And with box office numbers supporting the Wicked-like baddie turned-hero, it obviously didn’t take long for Disney to try to capitalize on a sequel.
It’s been 5 years since Maleficent had been released. But let’s be honest, did we really need a Maleficent 2? Or are we now suffocating the life out of one of the most iconic Disney villains? In this Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, we’re talking visuals, story (no spoilers!), a full PG rating breakdown, and sharing whether you should bring the kids to see this Disney live-action sequel. Is this film dark and twisted in more ways than one?
A CG world filled with fairy tale creatures and flights of fancy, the visuals of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil does well to find beauty within the shadows. Balancing color with darkness, humans with CG characters, Maleficent’s visuals rival those of Lord of the Rings. It’s a gorgeous display, for sure.
As expected, the story picks up where the last Maleficent film left off. (Which after 5 years, I definitely needed a movie refresher. I highly suggest re-watching the first movie before heading to the theaters.) You will get a quick “once upon a time” synopsis in the beginning of the film, but honestly you won’t understand the relationship between Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) and Aurora (Elle Fanning) without seeing the first film. We immediately dive deeper into building the supporting characters of Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson) and new character Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer) and supposedly the story. Here’s where the film lost me.
I felt the original film did a really good job of flipping the script, telling the other side of the story, and having you empathize with who we once thought was the villain. We got to see original aspects of Sleeping Beauty woven into the film seamlessly, with jokes and twists that really captivated the audience. I left feeling like the antihero became the hero, really changing perspective on our iconic villain and making me love her even more. Let’s face it, Maleficent set the bar really high. Tying up loose ends with the original Sleeping Beauty, there wasn’t much left to bring into the sequel.
So now we build an original story with Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, with a Game of Thrones predictable plot and a Lord of the Rings predictable battle. Now don’t get me wrong. It was entertaining enough. Huge Maleficent/Angelina fans will appreciate the reprise role. She does a great job with her character considering the lack of story to stand on. I even give a small applause for the expansion of diversity and color on the big screen. But overall, I was expecting that same feeling I had with the first movie. And I left rather underwhelmed.
That PG Rating
Not all PG ratings are the same. As a parent, it’s been rather heartbreaking to realize how much movie ratings have shifted over the years – PG oscillating between Incredibles 2 intense and Christopher Robin calm. Remember my PG rating breakdown for Maleficent? It’s hard to believe that my 5-year old son was almost the same age as my 6-year old daughter is now. That movie was too violent for him then.
But is Maleficent: Mistress of Evil kid friendly now? Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is rated PG for “intense sequences of fantasy action/violence and brief scary images.” And no, in this Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, this film isn’t for all audiences.
Language. Thankfully Maleficent doesn’t have a potty mouth. There’s no language to be concerned with in this film. Disney keeps everyone in good fairy tale behavior.
Adult themes. Also nothing of concern. A few kisses, but nothing dramatic. There is a few scenes where Maleficent is a little skimpy in the wardrobe department. But it’s a good thing Angelina can make it look classy.
Violence. Holy war, Batman. This is where the PG rating comes into play. War between worlds: human and fairy tale are portrayed in this film. To compare the violence, think Lord of the Rings meets Game of Thrones. There is heavy usage of weapons including crossbows with “round bullets” that are similar to guns, swords and hand-to-hand combat. Blood and gore are seen on main and supporting characters. Death and implied deaths occur, as well as suspenseful and intense fighting, dramatic falls, and purposeful hunting and killing of fairy tale creatures.
I am 1000% behind Maleficent. A Disney live-action concept I could truly get behind, I had high hopes going into this film. I was hoping for more than just a money grab sequel. But what I got was a Matrix 2 (I’ll explain the reference below). I didn’t feel that deep empathy and emotion like I did in the original film. I didn’t leave with a new understanding of Maleficent’s character or Aurora’s. I didn’t even feel like there was a new aspect of Sleeping Beauty that I had missed. And to be honest, I’m still trying to understand why they named the movie with the title they chose.
Remember that “M” word? The evil lies within the word money. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil proves once again that just because the original concept did so well, doesn’t mean that you need to do a sequel ever. This movie not only left me underwhelmed, but now also cheapens what was a really clever Disney live-action original movie concept. Violent and certainly not for all audiences (sorry, my daughter), this dark and twisted movie is full of stunning actresses without a story foundation to stand on. If you’re looking for a Maleficent 2 age rating, I would recommend at least 7-8 years old and up.
And my Matrix 2 reference? It was the unneeded sequel of that trilogy. Remember that “hey we’re going into battle but let’s dance first” scene? That’s what this movie felt like. Awkward. Forced. And I’m still scratching my head as to why the title is named what it is. A money grab at best, this watered down Game of Thrones meets Lord of the Rings sequel does nothing to enhance the characters, highlight the story, or pull at my flip-the-script Disney heartstrings. Are we ok with settling for mediocre sequels? Well, well…?
Follow Maleficent: Mistress of Evil on social:
- Website: https://movies.disney.com/maleficent
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyMaleficent/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Maleficent
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/disneymaleficent/
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is in theaters on Friday October 18, 2019. Will you be bringing your children to see this movie?
I was invited as press to screen this film in exchange for this Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Movie Review | Safe for Kids? All photos courtesy of Disney. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube for more movie updates, celebrity interviews, entertainment and behind-the-scenes info!
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