Remember my review for Project Almanac? Well, that film has a connection with this film. What is this connection? That I saw them both on a ferry. Before seeing this, I had never heard of it before. But since I have, what can be said about it?
Seventh Son is a medieval fantasy movie full of wizards, witches and magic, and features some surprisingly renown talent, including Jeff Bridges (Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski), Julianne Moore (Maude Lebowski) and Kit Harington (in what is clearly a day off between 2 seasons of Game Of Thrones)…Any others? Well, it depends if Ben Barnes from The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian counts. The story could basically be summed up like this; John Gregory (Jeff Bridges) confines a Witch named Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore) to an underground chamber for several decades, before escaping. She kills Gregory’s apprentice Billy Bradley (Kit Harington…yes, it really was a cup of tea between Game Of Thrones seasons), and Gregory, now a Spook (Witch Hunter) looks for a new apprentice. He then finds it in Tom Ward (Ben Barnes), who is the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (Which is real life concept within folklore). Tom Ward is trained by Gregory, and then they have to stop Mother Malkin.
I’ll start with what is good about the film: For 1 thing, it’s quite attractive to look at. The CGI is very nice, the scenery and locations are well chosen, the monster designs and presentation are very well done, the film score was passable, and it has some very good actors in it.
Now that the good stuff is mentioned, lets get to what you really want to hear. The bad stuff. Seventh Son, despite being based on a novel and featuring several very good actors, is 1 of the most uninspired, bland, random and boring fantasy films I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen The Hobbit:The Battle Of The Five Armies!).
Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore are fantastic actors, but 1 thing they proved is that good actors don’t make a well written story, or rescue a badly written 1, and sometimes there are approaches that just aren’t suitable for them. Jeff Bridges wasn’t particularly good in this, and 1 of his main weakness in the film comes in the form of John Gregory’s accent, which sounds like a mixture between Gandalf The Grey yelling “You shall not pass” and Bane from The Dark Knight Rises (I’ll also mention that Bane’s “Batbreaker” appears in 1 of this film’s action sequence. A Troll/Orc uses it). It sounds unnatural and very forced, especially when you’re used to how Jeff Bridges talks in most other films, and his line delivery is usually very charismatic in those. You might even say John Gregory’s a poor-man’s Gandalf. Julianne Moore did a good job, but once again bad writing is her downfall. As for the apprentices, Kit Harington’s character Billy Bradley is much more interesting than Ben Barnes’ Tom Ward, by far, and yet Kit is only in the film for about 10-15 minutes, while Ben is 1 of the main characters. If they could have switched them, I think the film would have improved.
The story and writing…let see. Apparently it barely follows the book. It feels rushed, the humour and dialogue are terrible (despite having a very funny line, but because I’ve already heard it in The Simpsons, Firefly and Castle, it’s not funny here), there is little to no character development, it’s as random as a few chapters of Astro Boy (minus the cuteness and likability), the characters have no chemistry, and the romance between several characters have no build-up, development or interest. Is there exposition? There most certainly is! It’s overwhelming, silly, and this film doesn’t have a problem telling you about it, but not necessarily showing any of it (in other words, “blah blah blah” then shakes keys in a baby’s face). It’s also impossible to submerge yourself into the film’s world, any serious themes are done lazily, there is a great lack of humanity, even among the heroes, let alone the villains, and lastly, it commits an unforgivable sin in movie-making…It’s not entertaining.
The cinematography was rather awkward, and came across as simply the presentation of “Stuff Happening” rather than really telling a story with moving pictures.
Would I recommend Seventh Son?…*pffffffft* I’ve seen much better fan-fiction than this! I have had much more fun watching bad movies on the Sci-Fi Channel (which is what this film feels like). I would choose Studio Ghibli’s most disappointing film, Tales Of Earthsea, over this film any day. Even though it is pretty to look at, this isn’t even enough for an artist to salvage any good visual ideas. I watched it with expectations of receiving something out of it eventually, but all I can say is “$95 million, and you couldn’t even afford a good script?”. When it comes to comparing a film with it’s novel, I’m sure this is possibly 1 of the most bi-polar experiences in quality, and that fans of the book will classify this as an artistic abortion.