The fantasy genre is meant to take us into a world where everything and anything is possible.
Dragons, witches, and alcoholic old men with some sort of speech impediment.
Seventh Son wraps itself in a bland colored shroud of clichés, making you find reality much more interesting than fiction.
Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges) is a spook, whose main purpose is handling and controlling supernatural forces with his current apprentice (Kit Harrington). A powerful witch, Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore), who Master Gregory imprisoned decades earlier has recently escaped. After killing the spooks apprentice, she assembles her scattered witch captains, including her sister Lizzie. Meanwhile, the spook needs to train a new apprentice, and he has to be the seventh son of a seventh son. Tom (Ben Barnes) fits that description, and his mysterious mother, Mam Ward (Olivia Williams), gives him an old amulet before he goes on his way. Tom has a week to get ready to face Mother Malkin before she destroys everything, and he has to choose between his new love, a witch and the daughter of Lizzie, Alice (Alicia Vikander), or the spook’s vendetta.
I’m racking my brain trying to find redeeming qualities in this film. The story feels like a retelling of a retelling, that loses wonder and intrigue the more it is passed along. It feels like it’s at least a dozen people deep at this point. The story feels rushed; every action taken without the right amount of preemptive narration to explain it’s progression. They even introduce a handful of interesting looking villains, but don’t bother trying to remember their names because in the final battle scene, they are each anticlimatic felled within a minute of each other. Each character is just an archetype of generic fantasy world characters, so their one-dimensions become way more blatant, especially when the cast can’t bring them fully to life.
Kit Harrington is billed pretty high in the credits, but to everyone’s disappointment (especially Game of Thrones fans), he lasts all of five minutes. We get a taste of what it would have been like to have him as lead, and I have to admit, I would have preferred him over Ben Barnes, who suffered from a lack of direction. In fact, every actor suffered from that, especially the two leads, Bridges and Moore. Bridges gives us his best Gandalf impersonation while simultaneously sounding mostly unintelligible to the point of needing subtitles. Moore’s talent is under-utilized by having her play an under-developed, typical villainess trying to shine in a film about the dark ages. It all proves to be an exercise in futility since every character was developed as a caricature that turns out much more humorous than it really should.
Seventh Son is a losing battle against the forces of darkness. Those dark forces are the dimly thought through story, the bland production value, and the complete mistreatment of the cast. In this case, your attempt at escapism through this film becomes your trap. The only fantasy you’ll be having is the one hoping for the film to end.
RATING: ★(1/10 stars)