Published on February 6th, 2015 | by Chris Daniels0
After a two-year delay, Seventh Son has finally reached the big screen, and it will leave you conflicted.
Seventh Son is brought to us by director Sergey Bodrov. Originally set for a February 2013 release, the film had complicated distribution arrangements between Legendary and Warner Brothers, which kept causing delays.
Jeff Bridges plays one of the title characters: Master John Gregory. He is the last of an order of peacekeeper knights, which once used to be a thousand strong. All of these knights are seventh sons of seventh sons, and are self-tasked with keeping the evil creatures of the world at bay.
The movie starts off with a young Gregory completing a prison cell for an unknown woman. Years later, the prisoner, a draconic beast, breaks out and attacks a nearby town, specifically targeting the aged Knight and his apprentice (Kit Harington — Jon Snow from Game of Thrones). This recently released evil is Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore), the queen of witches.
During the battle, Harington’s brief existence in this film is brought to an end, causing Gregory to seek out another apprentice. This search leads him to young Thomas Ward (Ben Barnes). After Ward goes through some sad goodbyes with his family, he and Gregory set out to take down the Witch Queen before the blood moon sets.
His training would normally take 10 years, but they only have a week.
Put simply, this movie was very fragmented. It isn’t a good movie, but it isn’t a bad one either. It has reasonable special effects and decent fight scenes.
There is plenty of star power: Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Kit Harington, Djimon Hounsou (one of my favorites), and Jason Scott Lee.
Jeff Bridges missed the mark on his character. It’s one thing to be disgruntled and war-torn with a curious sense of humor, but it’s something quite different to be outright silly.
There were no explanations. How did the order come about? Why seventh sons of seventh sons? How did Gregory KNOW there was a seventh son at that house? How did the war start? Why is Gregory the last? Why wasn’t there more about Gregory’s relationship with Malkin? Why did the skeleton in the armor attack Tom? Why do the swords hum? Where did the stone come from? Why was it powerful? Why anything, really? The story has no depth, failing to explain the “why” of any of its lore. There were only statements of fact, which confuses viewers and prevents them from becoming emotionally anchored to the story.
I simply didn’t care about the characters. The film was disorganized and rushed. Perhaps it would have been better served as two films, or a longer film, or even a mini series.
Seventh Son had the potential to be so much more. A combination of poor writing and bad direction made the movie lackluster to me and all three of my companions.
The actors delivered many campy one-liners, and the chuckles they drew from the crowd were quite unintentional.
If you are a fan of high fantasy, it’s probably worth seeing, but wait for it to arrive on Netflix and use it as background entertainment
2 out of 5 Stars
Editor: Jeff Boehm
Second review by Ryan Guerra
If I saw this movie when I was twelve, I would have probably loved it. But that also would have been the mid-nineties and this film would have been the best fantasy film since Willow. However after the Lord of the Rings trilogy raised the bar on the fantasy genera, a generic fantasy film like the Seventh Son, feels more like a made for TV movie.
That is not to say that this is a terrible film, it is enjoyable in its own right. The visuals are fine, the characters are cool and the premise is interesting enough. Thomas Ward (Ben Barns) is the seventh born son of a seventh son, and thus he should have superior strength. As such is taken by “Spook” Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges) to hunt evil spirits and witches. But when the witch queen Mother Malkin (Julian Moore) rises and begins to gain her power once again, the Spook and his apprentice must stop the witch and her minions before she spreads darkness over the world.
But this is a story we have heard time and time again which is fine but nothing special. Furthermore, the film tries to show us all of the different creatures and witches of this world, but as a result we get little to no character development for any of the characters, who all feel like hollow archetypes. During the points of the film where it tries to show us a speck of character development, the scenes often feel over the top and comical, but not comical enough to be self-aware, which would at least make them entertaining.
In the end we are left with a very generic fantasy film that is not boring but is easily forgettable.
2 out of 5 stars