Seventh Son Review

The Seventh Son hits screens this weekend, and although its based on The Spook's Apprentice it is barely resembles the story of the beloved series. The main characters retain the same names, but some are more changed than others. In the first book of the series Mother Malkin is the villain, but the spook never loved her, that honor went to a Lamina (not in the film) Meg Skelton. The entire series has been condensed down into a 2 hour movie, and does it little justice.

In a time long past, an evil is about to be unleashed that will reignite the war between the forces of the supernatural and humankind once more. Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges) is a knight who had imprisoned the malevolently powerful witch, Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore), centuries ago. But now she has escaped and is seeking vengeance. Summoning her followers of every incarnation, Mother Malkin is preparing to unleash her terrible wrath on an unsuspecting world. Only one thing stands in her way: Master Gregory. In a deadly reunion, Gregory comes face to face with the evil he always feared would someday return. He has only until the next full moon to do what usually takes years: train his new apprentice, Tom Ward (Ben Barnes) to fight a dark magic unlike any other. Man's only hope lies in the seventh son of a seventh son.

If you've seen the trailer for Seventh Son, you’ve seen all the movie has to offer: a grizzled, staff-wielding, weird talking Jeff Bridges squaring off against Julianne Moore’s army of evil minions, a beloved but unfortunately generic young hero (Ben Barnes) caught in the middle of the battle.

The entire story is hurried and rushed, never allowing the audience to care for the characters or allowing it to become the epic journey that it should be. Instead its a haphazard succession of battle sequences and CGI through the ever changing scenery.

Mastery Gregory, a professional Spook, takes a new apprentice when his old one dies. Young Tom Ward gets the unlucky job of learning his trade with only days until the end of the world. After a quick training montage, he's deemed good enough to help go against the greatest evil the world has ever known.

Seventh Son stuffs as much medieval fantasy fluff into the screen, never missing the chance to throw in a tired plot device or useless love story. While the action sequences are beautifully done and highly entertaining, it misses out on most of what made the books so great, the heart. Seventh Son draws little more than character names and backstory from The Spook’s Apprentice, the first installment of Joseph Delaney’s young adult fantasy series The Wardstone Chronicles.

Seventh Son doesn't live up to its potential, which may explain its long delay and February release date. It's CG dragons and were animals are far better than many we've seen, but no match for middle-earth. The entire film is very nice to look at, and the sets are far superior than you may expect, but the single dimensional characters, and lack of heart leave much to be desired.


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