Film review: Maleficent: Powers of Darkness

It’s time to return to the beautiful moors: the dark fairy tale Maleficent is returning. The sequel, Maleficent: Powers of Darkness, the 2014 action film that is based on the fairytale “Sleeping Beauty” finally has …

It’s time to return to the beautiful moors: the dark fairy tale Maleficent is returning. The sequel, Maleficent: Powers of Darkness, the 2014 action film that is based on the fairytale “Sleeping Beauty” finally has an update. Although the humans still hate the character, Maleficent must confront new enemies and discover new allies on the way.


A few years have passed after the bloody fairy Maleficent brought the foster child of her – princess Aurora who her self cursed – from her sleep and then crowned her the queen from the beautiful moors. Since then, Aurora has been busy performing her daily royal obligations. No matter what role she plays, whether the legendary tree knight, the dandelion fairy, or even a tiny mushrooming, Aurora is a calming listener to everyone. The friendship that she and Maleficent have also strengthened each year. However, one-day, Maleficent’s worst nightmare is realized. For a long time, Prince Philip Aurora’s friend requestsg the princess’s wedding hand.

The princess’s promise of a yes places Aurora and Maleficent’s relationship with their family on the line. While she has saved , Aurora Maleficent is still feared across the kingdom that is not surrounded by the moors. An elusive adversary is also in the midst and threatens the magical moors’ existence. This leaves Maleficent to defend her family as well as the moors and also to discover new friends.

(c) 2019 Walt Disney Pictures


Like in the first film, Angelina Jolie once again is a star in the making, providing her character Dark Fairy with a dazzling level of power and charisma. Because even though Maleficent is the main villain in the story, you can only admire Jolie’s character in the film and accept her for every wrong act. For Maleficent: Powers of Darkness, however, Jolie gets a lot less screen time than in the original adventure. Instead, Princess Aurora, played by Elle Fanning,, takes the center scene. Elle Fanning is a skilled actress, but she cannot hold an equal position to Jolie. As a result, the sequel suffers from a lot of weak spots.

This time, Angelina Jolie received her role in Michelle Pfeiffer, a formidable opponent. Pfeiffer plays the role of Prince Philip’s suspect mother-in-law Ingrith and creates an unsettling aura since her debut appearance in the movie. But her character’s motives are exposed quickly and revealed to the audience from the start to the beginning of the story. While designed for the younger crowd, it would have helped the suspense curve to keep the audience at some time instead of blaming the queen’s evil deeds directly on the man.

The music, on the contrary, is compelling from the beginning and accentuates every scene in a subtle yet firmly. The story’s visual style is fantastic and enormously helped by the music. The fairytale style is a hit, just like the predecessor. The forest dwellers in the magical bog are constantly on a tightrope between “This could be true” or “This is certainly a fantastical tale!”

(c) 2019 Walt Disney Pictures

This magical realism provides the film with its distinct feel. The lighting, in particular, ultimately convinced me throughout the film. The camera plays again, bringing in sun rays, and the light is, therefore, almost beautifully integrated into the specific scene. It doesn’t matter if it’s a shot of a sunset or the light of a candle reflecting On Ingrid’s face, the villain Ingrid. Visually, the film is perfect.

I was also impressed by the recurring references to the fairy tale “Sleeping Beauty.” Because the story told in the initial part was previously said until the end, I was not expecting to see any more allusions to fairytales within the film. For instance, Princess Aurora is still suffering from the scar from the spindle curse that was on her finger. This makes her think twice about believing in the Prince Philip family immediately, for instance. The allusions are subtle throughout the film and convey a fairytale ambiance. It’s a great success!

It’s not just the gorgeous music or the breathtaking landscapes. The fact is that none of these will conceal the most significant flaw in Maleficent: Powers of Darkness The story that underlies the film. This time, many different storylines stuffed into the same movie without linking them all together. The content of Maleficent: Powers of Darkness could have been enough for two separate films. In hindsight, this would probably have been a more practical approach.

Mainly from the second part of the film, the previously flawed story is also bolstered by a myriad of extravagant, wild CGI effects. The dramatic dialogue from the opening sequence must be replaced with an epic battle scene that could have matched any Marvel film’s finale. In this instance, a grand finale seemed utterly off-base. The first movie was built on emotion and was based on a few funny and quiet scenes between Maleficent as well as Aurora. The scenes were cut to an absolute minimum in the sequel, and the two characters appear as a couple on the screen just once or twice.

(c) 2019 Walt Disney Pictures


Visually and with the gorgeous score, Maleficent: Powers of Darkness is a shining film from the very first second. You instantly feel at ease in the enchanting computer-animated universe. Additionally, Angelina Jolie and Michelle Pfeiffer give convincing performances as actors; however, they aren’t able to make up for the weak script. Particularly in the second half of the movie, the plot tends to weaken a bit and concludes with large CGI fireworks, which is more in a Marvel film than the emotionally charged fairy tale adaptation.

Before the launch of Maleficent: Powers of Darkness, there will be speculation regarding the possibility of a third installment. I am hoping that Disney will revisit the original roots of the franchise and, most of all, bring the relationship between Maleficent and the daughter of her Aurora back to the forefront. But, at the same time, it is crucial to discover the true positives of the original adventure with emotional moments, lots of humor, and a unique, positive experience when a viewer is able to leave the theater. I’m interested to see whether the series can return to its original model. In the case of Maleficent: Powers of Darkness, Disney has not achieved its goal.

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