Tuesday, October 25, 2022

The School for Good and Evil

Adapted from a young adult fantasy novel (because of course it is), The School for Good and Evil gives us the odd tale of two friends Sophie (Sophia Anne Caruso) and Agatha (Sofia Wylie) transported to the paired magical schools for Good and Evil after Sophie makes a wish. Be careful what you wish for as Sophie ends up in the Evil School despite her princess-style. And Agatha, who just wants to go home, ends up in the Good School full of bitchy mean girl princesses.

Neither girl is allowed to change schools or return home as they settle in for their separate Hogwarts-ish training for mostly the descendants of fairy tale characters and a few "readers" like our two protaganists. Oh, and if they fail they will be basically killed off and have their spirit trapped in some kind of magical creature to tea kettle.

There's about an hour of fun to be had in The School for Good and Evil once the characters start embracing their new lives. The problem is the film is two-and-a-half hours long in what feels like the biggest budgeted Disney Channel movie ever made. There are also a distracting amount of recognizable actors in supporting roles from the likes of Kerry Washington and Charlize Theron as the head of each school, to Michelle Yeoh and Laurence Fishburne. We also get Kit Young as the good and evil twins who created the schools in an attempt to maintain balance between the two forces.

The film picks up when it starts playing with and subverting the ideas of good and evil that are hard-set structures within the school. For Agatha that means basically just pointing out the hypocrisy she encounters everywhere while Sophia gets a She's All That style makeover and goes from Evil School loser to top of the class. It's certainly no Citizen Kane, but buried underneath not one but two extended openings to introduce us the the world and our characters (save yourself some time and start 20 minutes in), and various romantic and destiny-themed subplots which drag on endlessly, there is some fun to be had but it's buried so deep in the 147-minute slog it's impossible to recommend.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: The School for Good and Evil
  • IMDb: link

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