When I saw the trailers for Seventh Son – directed by Sergey (Sergei) Bodrov, distributed by Universal Pictures - I hoped the film might be able to fill some of the fantasy void left after the Hobbit movies ended. It had dragons, sexy she-devils and all manner of beasties set in a medieval time frame. The special effects in Seventh Son looked like they were well done and worth seeing. With Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore on board, the cast held promise. The trailers showed swordplay, magic and an intriguing hint at a plot. Unfortunately that hint was about all of a plot there was. Despite slick special effects and talented actors, it’s exceedingly difficult for a feature length film to overcome a weak plot.
Jeff Bridges plays Master Gregory, the last of a knightly order know as Spooks. The Spooks have been charged with defending humankind from supernatural threats for hundreds of years. The movie opens with Master Gregory imprisoning one such threat, the witch called Mother Malkin and played by Julianne Moore. As time passes Mother Malkin gathers her strength and, with the added power of a rare blood moon, is able to break free of her prison. Once free, she seeks revenge on Master Gregory and the world in general.
Unfortunately a hint of a plot was all there was. Despite slick special effects and talented actors, it’s exceedingly difficult for a feature length film to overcome a weak plot.
Master Gregory is summoned to a nearby church to deal with a possessed little girl. The girl is a ruse by Mother Malkin designed to lure Master Gregory to her. In the ensuing fight, Master Gregory’s apprentice is killed, and Mother Malkin escapes. Master Gregory now needs to replace his apprentice, and goes in search of another seventh son of a seventh son.
Master Gregory finds Thomas Ward, played by Ben Barnes, and makes him his new apprentice. Thomas is tasked with learning all there is to know about becoming a Spook. Due to the nature of the threat posed by Mother Malkin, this apprenticeship is truncated from the normal 10 years to only one week. Of course we see a remarkable transformation from a simple lad that knows only life on a farm, to a weapons master capable of killing menacing, evil creatures, all in said week. Yeah, right.
In the end, Master Gregory and Thomas track Mother Malkin down in her lair, and kill the deadly servants that she has summoned to protect her. After dispatching her minions, Master Gregory and Thomas go after Mother Malkin. Thomas is blessed with supernatural strength and resistance to magic because his mother just happened to be a witch, and passed her supernatural strength to her son. This added strength is how Thomas is, eventually, able to defeat Mother Malkin. Of course, this happens just before the full blood moon would make the witch invincible.
Seventh Son had the seeds needed to make a quality movie. Unfortunately, it appears the decision was made to sacrifice back story and fleshing out the main characters in the hopes that special effects would carry the film. If different decisions had been made to enhance the plot, Seventh Son could have been a much better film. The numerous, gaping plot holes ruined any chance of sustaining my suspension of reality, and therefore my enjoyment of this movie. Despite the existence of Seventh Son, the Fantasy void is still with us.
About Brian Hill
Brian Hill is a home theater enthusiast who has an extensive background in sales. His interests include music & movies, F1 & NASCAR auto racing, hot rods (he has a '56 Nomad) and hockey — Go Sharks!
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