Saturday, March 7, 2015

Movie Review ... Seventh Son


seventh son posterBased on Joseph Delaney’s fantasy book series, ‘Seventh Son’s cinematic journey is more interesting.  Staying on the shelf two years after its production, the studio finally granted it a release.  It’s easy seeing why it was delayed with the plot’s generic fantasy formula offering nothing new.  The story and CGI have been seen before in better films.  Despite the sometimes hilariously bad acting, not much can save this Lord of the Rings-like knock-off.

The seventh son of a seventh son, Tom (Ben Barnes) has destiny to fulfil.  Having powers enabling him to become a spook – a slayer of evil creatures – he finds a mentor in John Gregory (Jeff Bridges).  Learning the ways of supernatural combat, his skills are tested by wicked witch Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore).  Eager to prevent her from taking over the world, Tom uses his newly acquired abilities to prevent his bright days from becoming dark nights.

Not much differentiates ‘Seventh Son’ from similar movies.  Dragons, sword-fights, horses and mountainous landscapes provide familiarity.  Fans will know exactly what to expect and ‘Seventh Son’ doesn’t disappoint.  Sergei Bodrov’s direction shows little imaginative flair crucial in making it stand out.  As multiplexes groan under the weight of fantasy flicks, ‘Seventh Son’ has little hope in saving itself against the tidal wave of mediocre facsimiles.

Making ‘Seventh Son’ bearable are the performances.  From Bridges’ bizarre turn as the grizzled, mumbling mentor to Moore’s obvious relish at playing a rare nasty role, it’s easy feeling their enjoyment.  Barnes gives a serviceable performance as the hero even if he seems somewhat old to be playing a teenage warrior.  Their efforts are undermined by a mundane script and poor editing.  Character motivations and history are badly explained with the narrative quickly descending into a mess of CGI and weak action sequences.

Those desperate for their weekly fantasy fix may find some comfort in ‘Seventh Son’.  Others should wait until something better arrives as surely night follows day, another fantasy yarn will be ready to plague cinema screens.


Movie Review Rating out of 10:  4

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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