Best friends Agatha (Sofia Wylie) and Sophie (Sophia Anne Caruso) always knew they were destined for more. Growing up in Gavaldon, a tiny town where nothing ever happens, Sophie in particular has always begged to be taken away to the School for Good and Evil. But when it happens, Agatha tries to intervene and gets taken along for the ride and the two are dropped in the wrong area. Only true love’s kiss can set things right and they will do anything to fix this mistake.
I wanted so badly to enjoy this movie. I never read the books so I cannot say whether or not they stayed true to the story, but I was hopeful for this adaptation. There were so many promising aspects from the incredible world building, to the magical creatures and fantastic costume choices. Also, if you think about it, we haven’t had a captivating enough fantasy series in a while.
I’m sad to say that this flat out disappointed me. I don’t know where I went wrong in thinking this would be an origin story between Lady Lesso (Charlize Theron) and Professor Dovey (Kerry Washington), but that would have been one hundred percent more interesting. Then there was the fact that Theron and Washington weren’t even in the movie as much as I thought they’d be.
While I wanted to get onboard with Agatha and Sophie’s story, there was something holding me back. I think a large part of that had to do with their acting. Having seen Wylie in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, I was familiar with her work and found her to be the strongest one of the bunch, though at times her too cool for school attitude grew tiresome. Caruso, on the other hand, was just bratty and annoying. I get that was the point of her character, but I couldn’t stand it as time progressed.
In addition to seeing more of Lesso and Dovey, I would have liked to have more backstory on some other characters. Kit Young portrayed Rafal and Rhian, the founders of the school. More focus on him would have been a different take. Or even when they were older, the role taken on by Laurence Fishburne would have sufficed. I did like having Cate Blanchett as The Storian, however.
I truly believe that if The School For Good And Evil had been adapted as a TV series instead of a movie, it could have been much better. There would have been more time to flesh out each character and plot point and it wouldn’t have felt so jumbled together. A wasted opportunity.