Saturday, January 03, 2015

Seventh Son

Year: 2014
Director: Sergei Bodrov
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander, Djimon Hounsou, Olivia Williams

Plot: Tom Ward, the seventh son of a seventh son, is chosen by witch hunter Master Gregory to be his apprentice. Their immediate task is to hunt down Mother Malkin, a powerful witch who is about to take advantage of the upcoming blood moon to destroy the world.

Review: After several delays, Seventh Son has finally seen the light of day. In a world where Peter Jackson has become the king of fantasy tales, Seventh Son isn't likely to be the one that reinvents the wheel. In fact, the film has similar elements to other fantasy films we know, such as Eragon and The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

Despite that fact, Seventh Son still manages to entertain, thanks to its brisk pace and striking a fine balance between humour and seriousness, something the two above mentioned films could not do properly. The story is no doubt a familiar one: a young man, dubbed the chosen one, must quickly learn from an eccentric teacher how to fight evil, and prepare himself for a battle that will turn personal. Even though we've seen this story before, the journey that Seventh Son takes us on is still quite watchable.

Director Sergei Bodrov keeps the story flowing smoothly and the visual effects are good enough to ensure an exciting adventure. In this film, witches turn into all sorts of beasts, from dragons to bears to leopards, and the effects are quite good in displaying them.

Of the cast, Jeff Bridges is the one that makes it work best. As Master Gregory, Bridges is a ball of eccentricity, sometimes drunk but knows when to crack a joke, and when to ground the character down. Even if a line of dialogue seems cheesy, Bridges can make it sound good, that's how awesome he is. Julianne Moore on the other hand, hams it up as Mother Malkin, but not as much as Charlize Theron in Snow White & The Huntsman, thereby making her a more solid villain, and one with her own tragic past. In contrast, Ben Barnes is okay as the titular character, but is rather bland and way too familiar to make an impression. Djimon Hounsou is once again wasted as a villain's lackey here. The guy can't get a break.

If there was one thing the film can do without, it's the romantic subplot between Tom and Malkin's niece Alice (played by Alicia Vikander), who is torn between following her aunt and being a good witch. Everyone knows how this plays out in the end, so the film has no need of it.

If you're looking for something that will entertain you for 102 minutes, Seventh Son is a good choice. Lower your expectations and have fun with it. It's that kind of film. (7/10)

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