Starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is a sequel to 2014’s Maleficent, based on the fairytale Sleeping Beauty.

The story goes that Queen of the Moors, Princess Aurora accepts a marriage proposal from Prince Philip, despite Maleficent’s disapproval. Maleficent is provoked by Phillip’s mother when invited to the castle and things become tense. Meanwhile, it appears there is a dying population of Dark Feys that seem hell bent on going to war against the humans and Maleficent has to decide if she will join the war to save her people or fight for peace and stay close with Aurora.

With its impressive special effects, the Disney film looks set to overshadow the first film, but doesn’t quite get there, despite being a pretty enjoyable watch.

Jolie is outstanding as the evil queen with a heart, and Fanning is admirable as the unlikely hero (if we’re going by the traditional fairytale’s archetypal damsel in distress formula).

Michelle Pfeiffer is a stunning villain and, between them, the three women make this a film worth watching.

The plot is slightly overcomplicated, but has some good messages about peace, family, love and cohabiting on the planet together.

Directed by Joachim Roenning, the film is special effect heavy with many cute animated characters to fall in love with – it seems in every film these days, there is a mandatory ‘Groot’ or ‘Minions’ type character for comic relief.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is entertaining and visually impressive with plenty of light and shade, and tension to keep you on the edge of your seat.

3.5 stars

By Libby Parker