“Seventh Son” Comes in Seventh Place
By Matthew McKenna
One would hope that a movie with an all-star cast consisting of Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, and Julianne Moore would be great. Sadly, “Seventh Son” didn’t meet its expectations. Sergey Bodrov, who also directed “Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan”, decided to make a movie based off the book “The Spook’s Apprentice” by Joseph Delaney. But much like most popular book to movie iterations, it falls flat with only a few good things about it.
The story starts off with Master Gregory, played by Jeff Bridges, an old knight known as Spook that protects the innocent from the forces of darkness, who is summoned to help save a young innocent life.
When he arrives, he learns that a witch that can shape shift into a metal dragon named of Mother Malkin, played by Julianne Moore, that he sealed away long ago has returned and intends to wreak havoc on the land followed by her supporters.
When she kills Gregory’s apprentice, who is played by “Game of Thrones’s” Kit Harrington, he is forced to find a new apprentice who must be the seventh son of a seventh son.
Gregory’ search for his new apprentice leads him to a small house near a lake where he and the audience meets Thomas Ward, played by Ben Barnes. Buying Thomas from his father, Gregory begins his new apprentice with his training. However, Thomas only has a week to train because Malkin intends to use the blood moon, a mysterious natural event that occurs every century and grants witches enormous power.
She wishes to use this power to rule the world in fear and darkness with her supporters. During his training, Thomas meets a beautiful girl that he falls in love with, but it complicates things since Gregory disapproves for his own reasons. Later in the movie, we learns why Thomas has to be the one to kill Malkin.
In terms of the movie, there are fewer good things about it than there are bad. What stands out as eye candy are the special effects, some of the humor, and the fight scenes. The monsters are well designed especially the realistic feel of dragons.
Fight scenes are fluid and quick, a little too quick though which is one of the drawbacks. Jeff Bridges is the one who delivers most of the humor and quick one-liners are the funniest to boot. His traveling companion known as Tusk, is also funny.
What makes this movie bad is the writing and acting. Any dialogue that you listen to doesn’t feel believable and often the audience will catch themselves going, “wait, didn’t they say this”, or “that doesn’t make any sense”. Jeff Bridges does his best but even his acting falls flat from time to time in certain scenes. Ben Barnes doesn’t give the same quality that he did in his role as Prince Caspian in the “Narnia” franchise.
Julianne Moore doesn’t deliver a villainous witch performance that we have all come to know in most movies and it feels like she was hired at the last second. Even though this movie is over an hour and 40 minutes long, it feels rushed.
Even though there was a mentioning that the fight scenes were good, they could have lasted a little longer. Camera shots weren’t all that great either.
To sum up the movie, it could have been executed better. Either the movie needs to be written better, the actors could have put more emotion into their work, have a different director for the movie, or hire a different cast all together, but keep Jeff Bridges in the cast. Another option is shooting at a different location.
If they had done one of these things, then the movie would be better and more enjoyable to watch. Rotten tomatoes gave it eight percent out of 100 and IMDb gave it 5.8 out of 10. This reviewer gives the movie five out of 10 magic pendants.