The ‘School of Good and Evil’ failed to conjure any magic

How do you know you’re watching a really bad movie? Is it when the movie starts with multiple memories, then flashbacks into flashbacks via the endless audio narration? Does it happen when a barrage of introductory setup leaves you more confused than when the movie started? Or is it when, after two and a half hours of hard running time, you are bored and tired and wonder how you could have spent a few hours of your precious life on this earth watching this sheer rubble. All this and more happens in Good and Evil SchoolNetflix’s ambitious entry into the fantasy genre.

The film follows outcast best friends, Sophie (Sofia Ann Caruso) and Agatha (Sofia Wylie), who form a bond between two mismatched people in the small town of Gavaldon. Blonde fashion designer Sophie dreams of being a fairy princess, while the witch’s daughter, Agatha, wants to spend her day without being attacked for being a witch. Sophie is desperate to leave Gavaldon, so when she learns that there is a school for good and evil that trains the next generation of heroes, princesses and villains, she wants to sign up. Her wish comes true, but Agatha accidentally comes on the trip, and the duo drops out at opposite ends of the school. Sophie attends the School of Evil, led by Lady Lisso (Charlize Theron, the only actress who has fun) while Agatha finds herself in the world of the beautiful Pink Princess of the School of Good, run by Professor Duffy (Kerry Washington).

Both girls are again ostracized, they are called “readers”, that is, the unborn children of fairy tale heroes and villains. As Sophie struggles to enroll in the School of Goodness, Agatha can’t help but notice that something is wrong with the academy. Maybe it’s the fact that she’s forced to take superficial beauty lessons (taught by the totally lost Michelle Yeoh) with mean girl princesses. Or the fact that students who fail turn into teacups or wild birds. Or maybe it’s overshadowed by the confusing amount of CGI surrounding it, making the entire movie feel baseless and false.

But there’s more to the movie, and so much more. A speaking pen, Storian (voiced by Cate Blanchett), writes the narration as it happens. The two-hundred-year-old feud between magical twin brothers Rafal and Ryan (Kate Young) who founded the school. Killer flowers and pumpkin-headed scarecrows trying to kill the student body. That would be fine if this magical world had rules and a logic, rather than skinning from one CGI set to another. But the movie seems to be making the rules as it goes on. For example, we see several students using magic to fight, only to be followed by a scene where the same students obtain their magical powers through a finger prick ceremony. It remains unclear a) how long school lasts and b) what happens to students when they graduate. It is clear that they have become fairy-tale characters, but what exactly does that mean?

The film is at once steeped in myth, while remaining painfully superficial regarding its characters. There is a lukewarm romance triangle between the girls and Tedros (Jimmy Flatters), King Arthur’s son. And although Agatha’s love for her boyfriend is compelling in itself, it becomes difficult to root for Sophie, whose only desire seems to be life as a beautiful princess. The plot points repeat themselves over and over, and no character grows or achieves anything like an emotional arc. Despite its productive determination and lavish costumes, there’s no heart beating at the core of this totally soulless and deeply confusing film. You can spot plot twists coming up a mile away, and the movie is neither funny nor a compelling drama. Worst of all, it’s boring, and the long runtime makes the experience seem endless.

since then Harry Potter Film wrapped (and behind it much lower Fantastic monsters franchise), studios sought out the next big fantasy YA franchise. The adaptation of the international best-selling series by Suman Chinani was a no-brainer, and brought on the talented Paul Feig (BridesmaidsAnd the spy) to participate in writing and directing was similarly inspired. This movie has it all for it: a lovable source, a powerful director, and packed with great actors in academic roles. But Good and Evil School Still dull and uninspiring work, he has nothing to offer and nothing to offer Say. Fans of the Diehard book series may find something to love here, but a bad movie is a bad movie. And the TSFGAE It is one of the worst films of the year.

Good and Evil School Currently streaming on Netflix.

(Featured image: Helen Sloan/Netflix)

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