Thursday, February 5, 2015

SEVENTH SON: When Darkness Falls, the Son Will Rise

Ben Barnes     Jeff Bridges     Julianne Moore

Seventh Son

Seventh Son, based on a Joseph Delaney novel, The Spook’s Apprentice, opens in a medieval tavern with Master Gregory (Bridges) imbibing and throwing his weight around.  His apprentice arrives to remind him the bells are ringing (there is an emergency) and he is needed immediately.  He goes out to find that the witch Mother Malkin (Moore) has escaped iron-bar prison on a mountaintop where he left her screaming her lungs out.  (The back-story is that the two used to be lovers, but when he married someone else she went into a rage and killed his wife.  He captured her, but couldn’t bring himself to kill her so put her in a prison he thought would be secure, but she only gained more strength across time, and broke out.)  She kills the apprentice, and now, Gregory must locate a replacement and train him before the full moon when Malkin plans to wage a supernatural war on mankind.
Gregory is a “spook” charged with getting rid of evil supernatural creatures on earth.  Now, he needs a new apprentice, and searches for a particular one who is the seventh son of the seventh son (one known to have special powers and a destiny).  He finds him on a pig farm living with his parents.  Tom Ward is not only the seventh son, but he is also the son of a witch, giving him even more power.  His mother voices her reluctance to let him go, knowing what lies ahead for him, but knows she must.  She takes a stone pendant from her neck—which turns out to be magical—and gives it to him, saying, “Everything that you will ever need is inside you.”
We’ve already seen the fierce struggle between Gregory and Malkin, now there is just one battle after another for the rest of Seventh Son.  It is entertaining for a time, watching the supernatural warriors morphing back and forth between animals and humans, but it gets so repetitive, and automatic (like, a fight every so many minutes without much in between), the viewer loses interest.
It is really fine to see the talented Julianne Moore take on an evil, super-aggressive role, and she pulls it off.  When she and Bridges are in a scene together, it’s electric.  For some strange reason, Bridges talks in a rough voice with what sounds like pebbles in his mouth.  But he plays the crusty old mentor very well.  Supporting cast members are good, although not outstanding, except for Jason Scott Lee, Gregory’s old loyal friend Ulag who never says anything but gets his messages across.


Grade:  D+ By Donna R. Copeland


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