Review: Seventh Son
To satisfy your mashed up fantasy needs via a mindless and mostly enjoyable one-off escape, here comes The Seventh Son, an efficient piece of ephemera featuring dragons, witches, and drunks, oh my!
This tepidly self-aware film by Sergei Bodrov about prophecy and magic and what have you follows an elderly keeper and tamer of spirits and monsters, played by Jeff Bridges. He is Father Gregory, known also as The Spook, and while doing his best Bane impression, Bridges dresses as a Jedi, swigs mead, and showcases sudden bouts of dexterity and swashbuckling.
A terrifyingly powerful witch played by Julianne Moore (yes, indeed), escapes some mediocre imprisonment set up by Gregory, lays waste to one of his apprentices (Kit Harrington, who really, truly seems to have simply wandered off the set of Game of Thrones to briefly appear here), and sets to take over this medieval realm with her cohorts of shape-shifting fiends.
So Gregory ventures to find the prophetic seventh son of the seventh son, unimaginatively named Tom (Ben Barnes), and thus they set forth to right the wrongs and maybe becomes buddies along the way.
Thankfully, this fun-filled piece of absurdity doesn’t dwell too much with emotions and familial relationships; it smartly gives things of import mention, but when there is mugging about by legendary actors, and killer bears and leopards and lizards, well, we ought not to dwell on the unnecessarily serious.
There are however, a tangential Romeo and Juliet storyline and other coincidences that run silly, as, wouldn’t you know, the shaggy-haired and earnest apprentice falls for a witch’s daughter (Alicia Vikander). After all, when a witch is about to be burned at the stake, your first reaction is to save her, and your second is to fall in love, and third is to not be at all shocked when she reciprocates such feelings.
But who cares about that, really? Monsters abound, the Spook offers some surprisingly charming words of wisdom when it comes to booze and witches (there’s some spectacularly muttered pith, at one point), and everyone else dutifully, at times painfully, carries out a bland script and even blander story.
Seventh Son borders on having enough visual excitement and Bridges-related fun for all its obvious clichés and stupidities. An ending strangely doesn’t do enough, alas. Still, Moore turns into a dragon, Djimon Hounsou shows up as blade-wielding reptilian, and other creatures lurk while thankfully most of the frivolous mythology and forced romance hangs in the background.