Teen Volunteer Review: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

This summer, Boston Public Library's teen volunteer program has gone remote! As part of this program, local high schoolers will be sharing their thoughts on books, movies, and more on our blog. Today Elizabeth Choi, a student at Boston Latin School, is sharing her thoughts on Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Is this Disney sequel worth watching? Check out Elizabeth's opinions below!

It is easy to imagine Joachim Rønning and the team behind Maleficent: Mistress of Evil as high school students. There’s one more day before their big video project is due and they haven’t started. They scramble to piece something together and combine every idea of which they can think into the assignment. It doesn’t matter how scattered their ideas are; they need creativity points.

This is essentially what the movie felt like. The plot was all over the place. It incorporated deadly flowers, a hidden community, and even the overused myth of the phoenix into the classic fairy tale. Though it brought together seemingly unrelated storylines, it was too predictable.

Most of the characters were unconvincing and oftentimes irritating, with the exception of Maleficent and Queen Ingrith, whom I enjoyed watching. Aurora came off as too naive, Prince Phillip was unimpressive, and the Dark Fey's unorganized attack was painful to watch. In sum, the director appeared to have disregarded the popular phrase “less is more.” 

Despite its flaws, Mistress of Evil was visually appealing, largely due to its costumes. I eagerly anticipated the characters’ outfits and I appreciated the detail put into each scene. It was also entertaining and -- though I may not sound like it -- I did enjoy watching it (mostly).

If you’re looking for a thought-provoking film, this isn’t for you. If you want a quality Disney live-action remake, I’d recommend Cinderella starring Lily James. But if you want to relax in front of an easy movie -- and maybe even a movie at which you’ll laugh -- you should check this one out.

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