Seventh Son – 1.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

seventh sonSeventh Son – 1.5/5 -The impeccable endurance it is in the first parts of the year within the film industry.   When it comes to this part of the year, you will always have very distinct two extremes in the type of films you watch (which I have mentioned a few times before).  You will have the Oscar films (and the late push) along with the generic spectacle known as ‘January’ films.   For all the good that has started off this year, eventually the real ‘January’ films had to come to play.  Just to get to the point; Seventh Son is a film built around an intriguing premise; but falls flat on so many levels.  Seventh Son is the epitome of what marks it a forgettable kind of story.

Premise: A young apprentice must learn the ways of a local Spook to take down a most powerful witch; before the end comes with the return of the Red Moon.

There is no reason to give real depth when discussing the acting.  First and foremost, I’ll just quickly give basic descriptions of the main characters:

Jeff Bridges as Master Gregory – The archetype ‘wise master/old man’ for the fantasy genre.  His acting comes off as goofy and unbearable.  There is no ‘try’ to give proof of any characterization; it is a lethargic performance.

Ben Barnes as Tom Ward – The archetype ‘hero’ for this film; as well as the main lead.  Even if this film is bad, he doesn’t even try to give real worth or character to the ‘becoming the hero’ story line.  It is a letdown to see the one-dimensional and wooden display found here.  At times you wonder why he was cast to lead.

Julianne Moore as Mother Malkin – The archetype ‘villain’ and basic ‘evil’ that most films put at the base of their films.  She never tries to step out from being that corny/sinister type.  She is the witch queen; and comes back to take over the world.  Akin to Jeff Bridges, she is basic, campy and lethargic in her performance.

To mention; there are other known names in this film (Kit Harington, Djmon Hounsou and Olivia Williams); but they fall into line and give one-dimensional standards from any fantasy film.  The only difference is they are in the second tier of characters.  Beyond these fellow actors; there is even worst acting within the secondary tier; feeling as if they are just reading lines on a paper instead of truly acting.

The direction is one of disappointment.  It follows the common linear progression that underlines every fantasy film that has come before and will come after.  What makes Seventh Son fall flat on its premise is it never tries to ‘invoke’ any dynamic within the lore it ‘semi’ introduces.  With the ‘generic’ introduction to the main players in this film (Master Gregory, Tom Ward and Mother Malkin), you get general plot points that give you overused theme of ‘stopping evil before it takes over’ scenario.  From here, it never tries to do anything more than rehash that common narrative throughout the viewing experience.  It gives attempts (at times) to show ‘insight’ into the ‘why’ and ‘where’ things will lead to and from within this tale of ‘witches’ and ‘Spooks’.  In the ‘lack thereof’ of attempts; it staggers along and plots along unbearably through the first two acts.  The constant conflict within the ‘potential’ of the lore they introduce makes you wonder what could be if they gave more times to dealing with the ideals of these knights known as Spooks that are trained to take down unnatural creatures.  That basic ‘bait and switch’ is the model to describe this whole film; and it cause conflict to get up and not finish the film.  There is the added addition of a ‘love story’ that is too oblivious to character depth; it makes the ‘romantic’ scenes feel force fed and unwelcome.  The film’s third act begins to exude some color; bringing in slight narrative of the reasons why and a little bit about the world we are watching.  Eventually, the glimmer of hope that this tale might end on a high note turns into the ultimate ‘bait and switch’ scenario.  With some attempt to explain everything, the final part turns into the all too predictable ‘final’ battle situation; where the ‘unimaginable odds’ plays like a bad set piece of computer generated entertainment.  With no real attempt to create thrills within these final fights; it drives a dagger into anything being really entertaining and truly climatic.   As the film ends, there is a shed of glimmer, but also a welcome sigh that this chore of a film has finally ended.

The visuals are a bittersweet welcome addition to this film.  The one positive side to speak of, the cinematography captures the pure essence that marks it a fantasy film.  Giving us vast landscapes as well as unique settings; you feel a part of this world.  From the forest, the villages, the big capital and the witches’ main home; you are completely enraptured.  That encapsulation is brought upon the subtle use of realistic settings blended with surreal visuals of monsters; CGI and other worldly magic.  The score is unbearable (along with the rest of the film).  It is as generic as the liner storytelling; and absurdly loud at particular points within the film.  It seems at times the music just copies the ‘supposed’ emotional output; but doesn’t do enough to invoke that rawness of the emotional scenes.

Seventh Son is that film you expect in this part of the year.  It is your typical ‘January’ film that had a lot of promise; but fails in so many ways.  No matter how I can put this; this film isn’t worth the full price or even a matinee.  Skip this film; there are a lot better ones coming out this year.

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