2015 / Director. Sergei Bodrov.
Review by Shaun Crawford.
SEVENTH SON is the kind of fantasy yarn that spends its time talking about prophecies, witches, amulets and blood moons. That should give you an idea of the kind of territory we're in. It's another Jeff Bridges vehicle to add to his ever-increasing list of mega-budget disappointments that didn't set the box-office on fire, and while it isn't as bad as a kick to the teeth it by no means lives up to the promise of the credentials on show.
The story, such as it is, tells the tale of a farm boy, the seventh son of a seventh son, Tom Ward, who is taken from his home by John Gregory (Jeff Bridges) a grisly old Spook, a hunter of all kinds of nasty goblins and trolls and witches and then from farm-boy taught the secret ways of the dying breed while mega-evil bitch-witch Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore) prepares her hordes for the blood moon when her powers come to fruition and she can rule all the lands.
It's far from a perfect film but the problems don't come from the spectacularly realised ghouls and dragons; the SFX are top notch. Nor do they come from the majestic rolling highland greenery or Jeff Bridges questionable facial hair.Russian director Sergey Bodrov (MONGOL) knows his way around an epic. He ticks all the boxes; a rousing score (here by Marco Beltrami), strange foreign lands, a doomed love interest, it even has a pitch-forks-in-the-air good ol' fashioned lynch mob scene.
The biggest problem is much more fundamental - the script.
We've been here before, a classic heroes journey template with new names slotted into the blank spaces. Bridges does his best getting his laughing gear around some of the script's clunkers and Moore, all gothic and black eye-lined, sleepwalks through the soulless Malkin bits.
If there's any good to be had it's that Kit Harrington shows up for a bit and thankfully doesn't stick around too long and the picture is quite handsomely lensed by Thomas Newton Sigel. But by the time the finale comes around you'll have forgotten what happened at the start - there's almost nothing to hang on to. Competent but it severely lacks any kind of heart or shred of originality.