Five years on from Disney‘s beautifully dark Maleficent, Angelina Jolie is back as the so-called Mistress of Evil for the sequel – but will the follow-up stand out amid an alread crowded market of live-action re-imaginings?

Well, if the first reactions to Maleficent 2 are anything to go by, yes it will.

Ahead of the film’s release next week, Disney fans have been sharing their initial verdict on the twisted fairytale, with many calling the chemistry between Angelina and Michelle Pfeiffer (who plays Prince Phillip’s mother, Queen Ingrith) its standout feature.


Although not entirely perfect, Maleficent 2 promises to deliver another successful take on the original Sleeping Beauty story, with Digital Spy praising the complex relationship at the film’s heart as “every bit as good as you’d hope”.

“Angelina Jolie and Michelle Pfeiffer having a sass-off in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is every bit as good as you’d hope,” we reckon. “The movie needs more of it, but it’s still a visually bold, fun and superior sequel.”

Elsewhere, the positive response to Maleficent 2 continues, with one review calling the sequel “a fierce fairytale embracing the joy of being uniquely individual”, singling out Jolie, Pfeiffer, and Elle Fanning’s “badass” performances.

Aurora, Queen Ingrith, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Related: Maleficent 2 star Michelle Pfeiffer reveals Queen Ingrith’s villainous plan

Others were quick to position Mistress of Evil as “among Disney’s best-live action sequels”, with another review agreeing that it’s “easily the best live-action Disney fairytale since Pete’s Dragon.”

One review called the film “instantly iconic”, suggesting Maleficent 2 will “open the fairytale universe in fantastic ways” thanks to its special effects and “mesmerising mythology”.

While we’re not entirely sure where the comparison to Pirates of the Caribbean comes in, it’s safe to say that Maleficent 2 is a pleasant surprise, full of humour, heart, and memorable performances.

A female-led epic subverting the tropes of the traditional fairytale? A tonic.

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Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is released on October 18.

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