Release Date: February 6. 2015
Director: Sargey Bodrov
Writer: Charles Leavitt
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander, Antje Traue, Olivia WIlliams, John DeSantis, Kit Harington, Djimon Hounsou, Gerard Plunkett, Jason Scott Lee, Kandyse McClure, Luc Roderique, Zahf Paroo, Timothy Webber, Lilah Fitzgerald, Marcel Bridges, LIbby Osler
MPAA Rating: Pg-13
Runtime: 102 Minutes
Production Company: Legendary Pictures, China Film Co., Moving Picture Company
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Country: USA, UK, Canada China
Have you ever heard of this movie before? I hadn’t until the TV spots graced my screen. Action, adventure, fantasy, witches, goblins, and ghouls all balled up into one to make a cinematic experience. The trailers didn’t suggest a movie with a large budget, but who cares? Sometimes, as an audience member, you just want to be sucked into a world that you have never seen before and appreciate everything it has to offer.
Seventh Son has a lot to offer, but gives you no direction on how to get into the film’s world. You’re lost, as if you’ve just woken up in the middle of a party and have no idea about its origins. You might have a good time for a while, but if you have no one to share it with, things become dull and tiresome. These are the sins of Seventh Son, which could’ve been a surprise hit, but is instead an easily forgettable tale that only mocks great stories from the past.
I’ve never seen more reason for a film to possess a prologue. There are so many rules in Seventh Son, but they’re never set. The audience is thrown into an unknown universe as if this were an established adaptation. As I’m writing this review, I still don’t know the importance or the history of the Seventh Son, other than that it sounds cool for a title or a tag line.
The audience doesn’t get any explanation on how many creatures there are, their abilities or their motivations. Random beasts come and go, and one can only assume that their presence exists as eye candy or to fill space. Random creatures popping in and out isn’t engaging unless they help move the story along. So when there is no weight even to the plot, their existence is even more unbearable.
The cast contains a few recognizable actors, so a glimmer of hope for quality always floated in the air. This is another reason I anticipated a great feature. Most of the cast have done a fine job, but a Razzie would go to Jeff Bridges. He was the main reason I was looking forward to this film. His line, “You are the seventh son, of the seventh son,” seen in all the trailers, grabbed my attention. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel the same after seeing his character in its entirety. His overacting and accent in the film are appalling and very distracting. I expected much more from Jeff Bridges in the light of his previous work.
Another downer is the plot – its devices, or the lack thereof. Everyone in this film has some special weapon, bracelet, transformation, or some other random aid that is wasted and shows no significance. There are too many cases where one character completely ignores logic to uphold suspense. This is sloppy filmmaking. An action scene is great only when everyone involved in it gives one hundred percent to destroy the opposing side. All of this is overlooked to cram an epic ending fight scene into four minutes.
Seventh Son had everything necessary to create a great epic. One could have argued that a trilogy could be in the works, but not now, after this bland attempt at entertainment. A film that could open up another realm of existence is instead condensed into a story that needs another forty-five minutes of world-building, story, and character development.
On the positive side, the visual effects are a treat for the eyes, and the soundtrack during transitions had my head bobbing. But when a stranger comes knocking at the door with no explanation other than “I need you to save the world”, and you follow without asking any questions or seeking any reason, all one can do is laugh out loud, saying, “What a joke!”