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Seventh Son

Coming Soon

It is said that the seventh son of a seventh son is seven times stronger than the average man (at least according to this movie), but that is never really shown in apprentice, Tom Ward (played by Ben Barnes). Being that is the only requirement to be taken on as “the Spook’s apprentice”, Ward knows as little about the job title as the audience does. Going in to this movie, I read the first two books and am well aware of this story’s universe. I was able to keep up, even when they didn’t explain things that well. The Spook (played by Jeff Bridges) is a smart ass, alcoholic, extremely strong and agile old man. He recently lost his last apprentice, Billy Bradley (played by Kit Harrington) to the evil witch, Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore).

The Spook has one week to train a new apprentice for a battle between Malkin and himself/his heir. Keeping up? This movie is all over the place with far too many villains and a rushed storyline; the movie lost much of its audience as it glossed over things that took entire books to get through. Now I am in no way one of those delusional fans who believe book adaptions have to be spot on. I understand that a book and a film based on the book, are two different entities, so to speak. The book is instead, used as an almost guideline. But the issue that this (intended) children’s book-turned-film ran in to, as so many before (Percy Jackson, A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Giver) is that it overcomplicated the storyline. I’m not saying children’s books are always complex, but they generally are easy enough for children to follow along to. When studio films get their hands on the material, they essentially add a whole other story into the mix, age the characters by 10 years, and bombard the audience with years of content they need to catch up on. It’s like coming to class after missing a week. You’re confused and effectively bored.

As you can imagine, a week is hardly enough time to train anyone to take on the most powerful being in the country, especially when the last apprentice had ten years of training and still managed to fail. But with a little help from a magic amulet, Tom’s strength intensifies, making him, well it essentially makes him as strong as they led us to believe he was already supposed to be, naturally. I imagine there were many body doubles, as this was an action packed tale. With foes like, a woman that could turn into a jaguar, a four armed man, and a bunch of dragons; there was no shortage of computer generated imagery. I myself, didn’t particularly hate the film, I probably won’t see it again, but I appreciated some of the humor that Bridges brought to the table, even though he was very one-dimensional throughout the movie. Many people in the theatre had a hard time understanding what Bridges was saying. He had an old drunk man’s slur that was intentional, but difficult to understand nonetheless. Barnes was an okay lead, he plays a confused but somewhat defiant young man pretty well, there’s only so much one can do with a character who has a week to reach all this greatness. Like I said, his character doesn’t ever live up to the potential we were told he had, at least without the aid of that amulet, which kind of felt like cheating.

Moore played a fun almost parody of last year’s Maleficent. Same dramtics and over the top, but her character was almost larger than the rest. She wasn’t parallel to the world she lived in. She managed to be over the top in a world full of ogres and boggarts. I enjoyed her performance. Seventh Son is one I would take children to and expect them to enjoy, but I would tell adults to not take it too seriously, because that is where you will find disappointment. Take it as it is, a hero’s journey.

Seventh Son is streaming now on the following services:
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