Not as you bad as you think. Or just as bad depending on your outlook.
Okay, it’s not great. BUT . . .
It killed the time, zipped along, didn’t mess about and knew exactly what it was. A big, dumb, action packed supernatural blockbuster.
Seventh Son is very much in the same vein as Van Helsing and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. Ridiculously stupid but entertaining at least.
So what’s this one about? Young Thomas (Ben Barnes) is apprenticed to the local Spook (Jeff Bridges) to learn to fight evil spirits. His first great challenge comes when the powerful Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore) escapes her confinement while the Spook is away.
From the OTT opening music score, I instantly thought of the classic monster movies.
Not long before you’ve sat down in your seats, you’re soon jumping out of them as an imprisoned dragon breaks free to unleash mayhem.
Smaug got nothing on this one. However, the dragon soon transforms into a vamped up femme fatale. In the form of Julianne Moore.
Moore went completely against type and proved she can play the seductive vamp role well. (What?)
She camped it up and stole every scene. You could tell she was having fun.
BUT Jeff Bridges? Face palm. What on Earth is he playing at?
The reunion of The Dude and Maude Lebowski may have excited the movie nerd in me BUT it’s just a shame that Bridge’s character was so terrible.
He just about pulled off the no-nonsense embittered mentor with a terrible accent in RIPD. But he should have known not to pull the same trick twice.
I had no idea what accent he was trying to do. It was hysterical for all the wrong reasons. Half the time, I couldn’t understand him. The other half I couldn’t care.
Ben Barnes (The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian) was quite a charismatic lead. Even if his character was a little bland.
Luckily the chemistry he had with Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina) sparked a bit more life into him.
There wasn’t enough of Vikander. And no! Not because I have a little crush on her. I felt that with Barnes, they made a good couple. Barnes and Bridges, on the other hand? No.
She was feisty and not too shabby to look at either 😉
The special effects were actually pretty good. Unfortunately, I saw the 2D version. A decision I instantly regretted. You could pick out several moments that would have been great to see in 3D.
The plot was pretty naff and full of plot holes. I could jot down the amount of questions; Why the seventh of the seventh son? What was the purpose of John DeSantis’ (The 13th Warrior) Tusk? Why did he have tusks? Why was he indebted to the Spook? How did he keep popping up when the Spook hadn’t told him where they were?
Little niggles, you know.
I wasn’t bored and certainly couldn’t knock Seventh Son for pace. It zipped along, and if I’m honest, a little too rapidly. The story was always going to the same old predictable guff. Young man sent on a quest and enduring love, loss and blah, blah, blah but they could have allowed a little more time on certain characters.
Most notably, Olivia Williams’ Mam Ward. Her forced mother/son relationship could have been a little more meaningful and interesting if they had allowed a revelation to develop. BUT instead, they focus on the monsters and the fight sequences.
Don’t get me wrong. Fun and violent they may be. It doesn’t help when you don’t really care about the characters. Mam Ward reveals something about her character halfway through the film that could have added something BUT instead she is pushed further into the background until she is no more.
A missed opportunity.
Kit Harrington. That’s right. Jon Snow. Had the easiest cameo going. I couldn’t believe he was in this. They must have grabbed him while filming Game of Thrones. His role was nothing more than a plot device to show how relentless Mother Malkin is.
Djimon Hounsou is reduced to nothing more than another angry servant. Pretty much the same character from Guardians of the Galaxy. Just an irate troll this time.
Also, why was everyone speaking with American accents? Especially when the majority of the cast were English or Dutch? But that’s just a continuity quip. Another niggle, that’s all.
It was hammy and OTT but gained points for fun.
It had the odd chuckle, zipped along and kept me quiet. However, a lot more points were lost for consistency, plot holes and direction.
The ending wrapped up far too quickly and was surprisingly open. With a faint hint of another?
I would be intrigued and if (A BIG IF) the gang were to return, they would need a lot of work. I enjoyed Van Helsing a lot more and we never got a sequel for that. So, don’t hold up your hopes.
This is definitely a teen fantasy epic if ever there was one. BUT we have had far too many. And even though they were flawed messes, they were still a little more memorable than this, I’m afraid.
BUT give it a go if you want a big silly creature feature to kill 90 minutes. BUT Jeff Bridges, come on man. You’re the Dude! Sort it out.