Film - Seventh Son

Seventh Son

Seventh Son, out on DVD now, is watched for us by our very own Jeff Bridges, Nate McKenzie...

If you have ever wanted to hear Jeff Bridges affect an accent (and apparently a speech impediment?) that confuses your brain, Seventh Son is just the film for you!

In this movie adaptation of the book The Spook's Apprentice Jeff Bridges is Master Gregory the "Spook"; a man who captures and destroys all manner of "dark" creatures. His main quarry being a witch called Mother Malkin, played by Julianne Moore. After Gregory's apprentice (played by Kit Harrington) dies he goes in search of the next "seventh son of the seventh son". This leads him to Tom Ward (Ben Barnes). As they venture together into a mountainside city, Tom saves a woman, Alice, from being burned alive by a group of locals who believe that she is a witch.

Apparently, this story takes place in some suburban Midwestern United States town where people are named Alice, Tom, and Greg.

You'd think the combination of Bridges and Moore could inherently make this film interesting. Unfortunately, neither seemed to have the right direction from Sergei Bodrov to utilize their talents. This was certainly no Big Lebowski reunion. Beside Bridges mind numbing voice affectation and Moore's tight-lipped glance-askewed thing she does there wasn't a lot more to their characters.

The story itself is actually pretty interesting however. Although the poor editing sometimes ruined moments (or stretched them unnecessarily long) the elements of a good story are apparent; specifically, the character designs. Mother Malkin, and the other witches, have the ability to change form into dragons. That may not be a particularly unique idea but the metal exo-spine and tail that she has in her non-dragon form is really quite inventive. In fact, that the witches don't turn into crows or owls or something likewise benign is a nice twist to the character profiles. The other creatures that make up the witches brood include another shapeshifting witch who becomes a cheetah, a werebear named Urag, a warlock with four arms called The King of Swords, and Radu (Djimon Hounsou) who becomes a dragon that sort of looks like a giant gecko. I really enjoyed the different permutations of baddies in a story that had potential to be something epic. Unfortunately, it never quite got to that point. The climactic battle between Gregory and Tom and the baddies is about what you would expect.

Where the $95 Million dollar budget was spent, I'm not sure. The CGI was only slightly above mediocre and the dialogue was bordering on translucent. The love storie(s) were so forced they could be considered an arranged marriage in most countries. Perhaps that is because in the novel Tom is 12-14 years old. Ben Barnes is actually 11 days older than myself. Clearly, the idea to make it a (slightly older) Young Adult genre film was the driving factor in most of the decisions and the main reason that this film did not completely come to the fruition that it deserved. I would be more forgiving if the filmmakers had gone in the direction of the Percy Jackson films; keeping it more PG13 and less dark and, sometimes, horrifying (the scene in which Kit Harrington dies was somewhat disturbing).

Yet, I did enjoy the movie. The parts were there but mis-arranged, like a puzzle that is put together with a few pieces shoved into the wrong places. The movie is worth a rental but I would prefer to have not paid for it in the movie theater; and not just because I ended up watching it in 3D because my local theater didn't have the standard version.

Image - IMDb.