The School For Good and Evil Review

Paul Feig is an established director and producer of such films as Bridesmaids, Spy,  and A Simple Favor. He has made films in the action genre, romantic comedy genre, and sci-fi genre. Now he ventures into the family/ fantasy genre with his latest film The School For Good and Evil. Also known as the young adult genre because it’s based on a book series. Three genres he has little experience with, but three if done right can lead to a huge groundswell from fans of a property. This IP may be just what the doctor ordered. It’s based on a popular book series by Soman Chainani. 

Sophie and Agatha (Sophia Anne Caruso and Sophia Wylie) are two young women who live in a small town called Gavaldon. They are best friends but to most, they are outcasts in this community. After a letter and a with Sophie and Agatha are wished away by a giant vulture-like creature to a far off land where there are two castles. One grand and beautiful and the murky and dark. This is known as The School For Good and Evil. These two young ladies were selected for this school with a bunch of other kids their age. The problem is that they each may have been put in the wrong school. And they aim to prove that to everyone and anyone at the school.

Fieg has surrounded the film with big-name stars in the roles of the teachers and headmaster of the school. That balances out the fact that the kids are played by nobody I have ever heard of until now. Charlie Theron, Kerry Underwood, Michelle Yeoh, and Laurence Fishbourne are having a blast in this movie as these characters who are either good or evil. They all have done a lot of serious dramatic roles in the past so it’s nice to see them ham it up in this family/fantasy young adult film. The two leads Caruso and Wylie do a very good job as well in what is probably their first big role. I was a little enamored with Kit Young as Rafal, the villain of the film. He was pretty cool to follow along with from the beginning to the end of the movie.

This film has a lot of production value to it and the cinematography is pretty beautiful as well. It’s a good-looking film to look at in general. The visual effects in the movie are very good. The colors jump off of the screen when characters such as Young’s character uses his powers. When anyone in the film uses their powers it looks pretty cool. Along with the look of the film also is the costumes and make-up and hairstyling departments. These are first-rate in this movie. There are a lot of costume changes by everyone involved, especially the two leads. But everyone involved in the film looks exquisite in all the costumes. This will surely gather some awards attention come next year in at least two categories. Costumes and hair styling and make-up.

The School For Good and Evil has a message it wants to convey to those that watch it. And that message is that good and evil don’t look the way we have come to think of them as looking. People can come in different colors, shapes, and sizes. And just because you are labeled a witch doesn’t mean you’re evil and just because you have blonde hair and wish to be a princess doesn’t mean that’s your lot in life. People aren’t always put into the same groups as they are labeled to be in. There is a lot that goes into that besides looks though. People’s personalities play a big part in that. I can see why this book series interested Feig and company. It has a great message. Kids and adults alike should be able to watch this film and believe in this message. 

The School For Good and Evil is a delightful little film. Not since the Harry Potter films was I so enamored with a family/fantasy film such as this one. Or young adult films either. This movie snuck up on me. I wasn’t expecting much but when it was over I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. It had fun performances by the all-star cast and newcomers alike. The two leads were fantastic. The technical departments as well as the costumes and makeup and hairstyling departments were spot on and deserve awards consideration. This was a fun movie based on an IP I wasn’t familiar with and that was good to see. I hope to see some sequels to this book series if this one does well.

4 stars 

Dan Skip Allen

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