Thomas Ward (Ben Barnes) becomes the apprentice of Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges) in Seventh Son.

Thomas Ward (Ben Barnes) becomes the apprentice of Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges) in Seventh Son.

Reel Reviews: Seventh Son is a double zero

Let’s all hope that Seventh Son puts a sword in this story.

  • Feb. 15, 2015 2:00 p.m.

Young Thomas Ward (Ben Barnes) is the seventh son of a seventh son, who hopes to leave the farm for a more adventurous life.

When Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges) needs a new apprentice in the art of protecting the countryside from witches, ghouls and all manner of spooky business, young Thomas jumps at the opportunity.

The most dangerous witch, Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore), has escaped from her prison and regained her power under the rare blood moon, threatening to destroy everyone who doesn’t bow to her. This includes a pretty, young half-witch Alice (Alicia Vikander) and her mother, one of Malkin’s key subordinates, Bony Lizzie (Antje Traue).

Can Thomas simultaneously learn to kill witches while loving one?

We say, “Let’s all hope that Seventh Son puts a sword in this story.”

TAYLOR: Once again, a young person comes of age in a less than perfect world, discovering meaning in his life by struggling to understand and then defeat that which opposes the people, thus becoming a hero.

In the craze of having teens fight social disorder or oppression, Seventh Son at least puts us in a medieval time of magic, dragons and legend. However, this setting also robs the story of the opportunity to be unique. I’ve seen this movie, in one form or another, up to 20 times since we started reviewing. This is a very dull, unimaginative reincarnation.

HOWE: Dull is bit of an understatement and I’m not just talking about the colour content of the movie. This has to rate in my top three worst movies since I have been reviewing them, maybe even in my top three worst movies I’ve ever seen. The plot is thin. The money spent on the CGI is wasted. I’ve seen suits of armour give better acting performances. If only I could use the time machine from Project Almanac, I could save myself from watching this dollop.

TAYLOR: Many films these days seem to be processed to have a pewter-like metallic shine. This, I guess is the “new look” of movies, amping up the desaturated look that came into style at the turn of the century. I’m not a fan of it. I miss colour. Remember when you would see green grass and blue skies in a film? It still happens, but colourful dystopias would be counter intuitive, I guess. The plot is paper thin, so predictable you can forecast every single element of the story, long before it happens: The witch is trapped, therefore will escape. The farm boy is bored, therefore will find adventure. The bounty hunter is a drunk, therefore carries an emotional wound and will be difficult. The young witch is lovely and kind, therefore will be the damsel in distress. The young witch’s mother is torn between serving Mother Malkin and loving her daughter, therefore she will choose to be detrimental to one of them. It is a checklist of story form cliches that we can’t exactly blame the filmmakers for, but rather the author of the original Spook’s Apprentice book series. I think this turkey was a turkey from the get go, so the only question is, “Why make the film at all?” Do not go, maybe they won’t make another.

HOWE: I hope not. One other thing I noticed was the unnecessary use of the F-bomb. Like in Hercules last year, this was just dropped in and sounds so out of place. It did not make the film funnier or tougher, it just contributed to its overall failure.

– Howe gives Seventh Son 0 entertainment value out of 5.

– Taylor gives it 0 chances of deserving a sequel out of 5.

Reel Reviews with Brian Taylor and Peter Howe appears in The Morning Star Friday and Sunday.