Friday, February 13, 2015

[Review] Seventh Son

Seventh Son is that odd, second-rate (or third) fantasy adventure that always lands with a thud at the beginning of February. The film has a gigantic budget, but it still manages to look cheaply made.

The plot jumps into action right away, which is both good and bad. Good, because there isn't much waiting around to do. Bad, because we really don't know what's going on. A powerful evil of the past has suddenly been unleashed, and Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges) is the only one who knows how to stop it. However, he's old and weak, so he recruits an apprentice named Tom (Ben Barnes) in order to train him. Tom is presented as "the chosen one", but Master Gregory seemingly selects him at random. The characters are introduced so quickly that it's never quite clear who they really are.

This "evil" everyone is speaking of, involves a wicked witch (Julianne Moore), a dragon (a mini-Smaug), and for some reason there's also a possessed woman that seems to have stumbled into this world from a recent exorcism film. It's all so sloppy and incoherent, but this thing's valiant attempt to toss the kitchen sink is also strangely admirable. The story feels like someone started writing a fantasy novel and didn't realize they were subconsciously recreating The Hobbit until halfway through. Jeff Bridges sounds like Rooster Cogburn got hammered and started doing Gandalf impressions, and Kit Harrington is cast a pointless character, because ever since Game of Thrones, Jon Snow just always shows up in every swords and magic movie.

It all stumbles forward with run-of-the-mill archetypes, and battles and climaxes that look dwarfed compared to what has appeared on the screen lately. You can embrace Seventh Son's ridiculousness and pass it off as a serviceable genre piece for a while, but as the clock ticks and ticks, you eventually just wish you were somewhere else.


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