102 Min. | Action – Adventure – Fantasy | February 2015
IMDB Rating: 5.8
Director: Sergey Bodrov
Staring: Ben Barnes, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges
Seventh Son Review: Set in medieval times in Europe somewhere, “Seventh Son” brings us back to a time when supernatural beings like witches, ghosts, ghasts and the like wreak terror on the countryside. The people depend on a special knight called the “Spook” to fight these creatures and restore peace. Master Gregory is the last spook and he is getting on in age. In his last big fight with the grand witch Mother Malkin, he lost his latest apprentice Billy. Gregory searches for another “seventh son of a seventh son” to take his place. His quest leads him to the farm of the Wards. As the young impulsive Tom heeds the Spook’s call, will he be up to the task of becoming the new Spook before Mother Malkin fully regains her powers by the night of the blood moon? Or will Tom’s falling for the charms of pretty Alice distract him from his destiny?
Cut down to its basic storyline, you would see a very common basic plot in many an adventure film, an old master training an heir-apparent to his position. Seventh Son takes that plot and brings into it fantastic monsters in action and teenage romance in bloom. Ben Barnes plays Tom Ward. Barnes first gained attention as Prince Caspian in the Narnia films, though his career did not really fly too much. He takes another stab at stardom with yet another action fantasy with this one. Already a adult man, Barnes seemed too old for the character he is supposed to play. Anyhow, he still has a youthful mien to pull it off. Jeff Bridges plays Master Gregory. He is at his hammy best here and he looks like he had a good time filming this. In fact, Bridges felt like he just reprised his role in last year’s “RIPD”, where he was a senior ghost policeman training a new recruit. Bridges had some witty ripostes which added the requisite humor to the proceedings.
Seventh Son is based on the young adult novel “The Spook’s Apprentice” written by Joseph Delaney. Unlike the atmospheric creepy book it was based on, the film is makes it more of an action fantasy for cinematic verve. Tom and Alice in the book are both pre-teens. The witch characters did not fit their descriptions in the book as well. They did not turn into animals, for one. In fact, one of the side characters, the deformed humanoid Tusk, even shifts over from evil in the book to good in Seventh Son. The visual effects were hit and miss, some (like the creature transformations) were impressive and seamless, but some (like the conflagrations) looked old-fashioned and garishly fake. Book fans may be disappointed by the major deviations from the original tale. Those who are unfamiliar with the book though will be entertained, but will definitely feel that the story being told by director Sergey Bodrov follows a tired and very familiar formula.