Sometimes you know you’re doomed before the movie even begins. “Seventh Son” looked about as generic as they come, a tale of knights and dragons and witches and prophecies and everything that comes with medieval adventure. My only hope was that the movie would be bad enough to make me crack a smile, that Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore would ham it up and chew enough scenery to keep my interest. Ten minutes in, my hopes were dashed. I saw the writing on the wall and slumped down in my seat, watching through the bottom of my 3D glasses. After the film was over I was upset, not with the director or the actors, but with myself for expecting anything more than pure garbage captured on film and delivered without love or care to producers, who nodded into their calculators and bank statements and approved it.
Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges) is a Spook, the last remaining of a legion of witch hunters. He loses his latest apprentice to Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore), the witch queen. He searches for another “seventh son of a seventh son,” which are apparently more abundant than one would expect. He finds Tom Ward (Ben Barnes) and takes him on his quest to reach Malkin’s castle before the blood moon is full and her powers are fully regained. I’ve recounted all of real consequence; the love story, the mother-daughter relationship, the plot twists: they are all strung along in the movie’s effort to lengthen its runtime and add suspense.
I’m struggling to find anything novel to say about the movie, which is as glaring a retread as any in recent memory. There’s nothing new about it, yet nothing stands out as particularly amateur. The fodder that allows for some laughs is few and far between. Everything looks apathetically constructed. The sets are generic and blasé, the characters are merely old archetypes done up in poorly applied makeup, the plot is thoughtless and tired and without a want to reach the audience in any meaningful way. The passion evident in the greatest films is nowhere to be seen as the director checks off boxes and counts the days until the end of shooting so he can go home. It’s a lethargic film, schlepping forward slowly and without motivation or charm. It failed to convince me that the people involved treated it as anything other than a paycheck.
It’s not worth addressing the many aspects of filmmaking that one typically picks up on. It’s not worth wasting time describing the dreadfully phoned in performances of Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore, who will most likely petition to have this project permanently removed from their respective filmographies. I’d rather not relive the anticlimax that is the movie’s conclusion, nor acknowledge the prospect of a sequel or even a franchise. I wouldn’t put it past those involved to slap together “Seventh Son 2.” The movie is harmless and fairly forgettable, but I’d rather have had it been a complete and total disaster. The only thing worse for a movie than leaving a bad impression is leaving no impression at all.
Review by Lucas Dispoto