By MICHAEL EMERSON
A film with the makings of an epic and interesting setting ends up wasting its potential on trite clichés and even worse acting.
Seventh Son is just one in a long line of best-selling book spin-offs. Based on the English novel, A Spook’s Apprentice, Seventh Son tells the tale of Tom Ward (Ben Barnes), the last in a line of monster hunters known as “spooks” whose job is to protect the land and keep powerful creatures at bay. Ward is sought out by an elderly spook, whose past evil comes back to wage war on humans.
Seventh Son makes the unfortunate mistake of trying to cram every piece of information from the book into an epic showdown between two factions. It’s prepared and finished all within the time frame of a week. The cliché where an unlikely hero becomes as good, or better than a master who has been training their entire lives.
On top of this, the movie also has betrayal between species and an incredibly rushed romance plot that adds nothing to the story. There’s also the fact that there’s an entire army of powerful villains who all have less personality traits than lines.
Some of the better actors fall flatter than the pages of the book they were based on. The adaptation won’t be beloved even by fans of the series. And everyone looks as bored as possible unless you count the times they turn into ugly CG puppets that seem to defy the laws of physics.
But to be fair one of the positives of the film is the well-handled yet still unoriginal aesthetic and set design. Director Peter Jackson figured out that wide shots over fields, horses and other medieval tropes are film gold. The same cannot be said for the costumes; while some are unique, some just look like the actors raided a Halloween Express the biggest offender of this was the main character.
Another part that was bothersome was the movie claimed to be a comedy yet the funniest lines were spared in the trailer. Any other attempts at making the audience laugh were forced beyond comprehension and just seemed like terrible ad-libbing.
Seventh Son fails on almost every conceivable level and any redeeming value to be had was lost in its terrible direction, weird casting and is above all nothing more than a waste of time. In an era where Fantasy and Sci-Fi movies can break into the Oscars and be treated with a level of seriousness this movie deserves to be forgotten.