Can anyone think of a fantasy novel that was turned into a movie that was worth seeing where the author’s name did not end with Tolkien? Anyone? Anyone at all? You can’t think of one, can you? If you can, it probably came out MANY years ago. Perhaps now that the much delayed (four times) “Seventh Son” is finally coming out today, February 6, Hollywood may finally let this trend die.
“Seventh Son” is based on the novel “The Spook’s Apprentice.” A spook is someone who fights witches, demons and otherworldly evil creatures. The Spook, Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges) must find himself a new apprentice, a seventh son of a seventh son. That person is Tom Ward (Ben Barnes). Together they must stop Master Gregory’s greatest foe, Mother Malkin the Witch Queen (Julianne Moore) from spreading her darkness across the land which will take place during the next red moon.
There are so many pieces of “Seventh Son” a critic can attack, but let’s start with one that you probably won’t see many focus on, the production design. How bad is it? Sometimes it felt the scenes were shot at a local Renaissance Faire. The special effects are fine and even the 3D effects are not too bad, but you never quite feel “transported” to the world they are depicting here.
If the sets don’t take you out of the time period, then the movie’s two young leads, Barnes and his love interest Alicia Vikander will. While everyone else is speaking with an accent that reminds one of Old English times, these two sound as American as you can get, which is surprising since Vikander is Swedish born. You would think they would have it in the budget for a dialect coach, or at least a competent one.
It’s doubtful many moviegoers are familiar with director Sergey Bodrov. Here is all you need to know about him and the work he did on “Seventh Son,” all the action scenes in the movie reeks! There is not one good sequence at all! Even though they fight witches and demons and other monsters, none of those scenes will make you stir in your seat, much more get you to the edge of it. It looks like he was going for some kind of Jedi theme. Tom is a farm boy who yearns for adventure and the way he and Master Gregory wears their hood, they have a Jedi look to them. Again, like everything else Bodrov tried doing in the movie, this was an epic failure.
It’s a mystery of why Jeff Bridges and current Oscar nominee (and favorite to win) Julianne Moore signed onto this project. You might say they did it for the paycheck, but this kind of genre does not come up too often for an actor, so they both probably figured it would be fun roles to play. It that was the reason they were the only ones who had a good time because no one who sees this movie will have one. It is rated PG-13 for intense fantasy violence and action throughout, frightening images and brief strong language.