Thursday, January 15, 2015

Seventh Son

The Seventh Son is the First Awful for 2015
by Reymundo Salao

The Seventh Son is one of those movies with trailers that are unquestionably awesome, but the finished product itself, the film in full, is officially my first bad movie of the year. [hit the jump to continue]

In the "Seventh Son" Jeff Bridges plays this old man warrior named John Gregory who is a Spook, or (in the context of the film) is some kind of witch-hunting knight (They don't really tell you what these guys are, except that a whole lot of these Spooks are already dead). Sir Gregory is in pursuit of this Witch named Mother Malkin who transforms into a dragon, and is bent on bloody vengeance. This villain isn't exactly excited of planning any other thing on her agenda, aside from vengeance against Sir Gregory. Some of you could already be keen enough to guess why these two are really bent on killing each other.

In order to effectively accomplish his mission, he will need the aid of an apprentice, one who is a seventh son of a seventh son (It's not exactly explained why that should be the qualification of what he's seeking, except only that he mentioned in passing that seventh sons are supposed to be exceptionally strong and/or skillful (in fighting). Then we are introduced to the title character named Tom Ward, who has a Luke Skywalker backstory; he's a farmboy who aspires that he is meant to do great things, and get away from his dull farmboy lifestyle... and then around 20 minutes later, when we see him being trained as a warrior, he complains that he is "not meant to be doing such things"

Later, they both are teamed-up with a third ally who is Sir Gregory's silent companion; an orcish fellow named Tusk, who obviously just looks like a tall, bulky man with an orc mask. Of course he's silent and doesnt say a word because perhaps this might give away the fact that he's just wearing an orc mask!

Things get complicated when Tom meets a young witch named Alice, and they fall in love... in such an awkwardly unnatural manner. This part creates that young-adult-romance Twilight-esque aspect that, in concept already is a bad idea, and when executed in cinematic direction looks worse.

The villain Mother Malkin is played by Julianne Moore, who despite her prowess in acting, looks awful in this. It's because the character just looks like Julianne Moore in stylish evil witch gown and make-up. Kit "Jon Snow" Harrington makes a very brief appearance here only for a minor role. I'm amused that Djimon Hounsou is in here too, applauding him to be a regular in a lot of big fantasy-sci-fi-genre movies. The lead Ben Barnes and the leading lady Alicia Vikander were both kinda "meh, whatever" But it really is Jeff Bridges that steals this awful show. In some scenes, he seems to be doing his very best Gandalf impression, while in some scenes, he's doing the good old ruthless mentor figure schtick. But what is most distinct about his performance is that he seems to be making up this distinct accent, voice, or manner of speaking which is just hilariously distracting (he sounds like a character in a children's cartoon). After a while, whether or not he secretly intended it to sound funny, I just found myself laughing at his performance. 

The film is directed by Sergei Bodrov who directed "Mongol". I can imagine that perhaps on text, the (bare framework of the) story has potential. The relationship and dynamics between Sir Gregory and Tom Ward, and between Gregory and Mother Malkin, there's something underneath that feels like it could have been a better movie. Add it up with the fact that it has awesome visual effects in some areas, many of the other creature designs and costumes were impressive; especially the ones we see in the trailer.

Unfortunately, Seventh Son feels like it was directed by a 12 year old sword-and-sorcery fantasy geek who doesn't know how to tell his story. My ultimate sentence: This feels nothing more than just a TV movie that you can watch while multitasking.

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