Angelina Jolie has recently rebranded herself as the First Lady of Disney, a path lit up by the live-action remake of Maleficent that came out a few years ago. It’s an okay movie, it has some interesting revisionist ideas—something lacking in the other live-action remakes (except for Pete’s Dragon, which is AMAZING and no one saw)—but is otherwise unremarkable. Except, that is, for Angelina’s turn as Maleficent, she’s really good. The teaser for the sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil has just been released, and if anything, she looks even better in the second go-round.
You know what I love the most? The way she says, “Well, do you?” to Michelle Pfeiffer. I went back and checked the trailer from the first movie, and while she is affecting an accent, she isn’t doing a voice in the first movie the way she appears to be in the new one. She sounds different, right? It’s not completely out of the ballpark, but she’s definitely changed it up for the sequel. And I love it, I really love that bit with Michelle Pfeiffer. The dark fairy tale thing has never really worked, but I am 100% here for Angelina Jolie bitching it up Disney-style with Michelle Pfeiffer for ninety minutes (especially if she turns into a dragon at some point). Also, she has a PERFECT witch cackle. I remember the previous movie having not so great trailers, but this time they know exactly which beats to land on—bitchy Angelina, that cover of “Season of the Witch”, and that perfect cackle at the end. I am cautiously optimistic about Mistress of Evil. The first Maleficent is mediocre, so the bar isn’t too high here, and it looks like they might have keyed into the good stuff for the sequel, which is primarily Angelina being a Goth diva and cackling her way through a revisionist fairy tale.