We have seen a lot of fantasy books to film adaptations over the last decade. While some of them are incredibly good, and were truly enjoyable, the occasional bad apples do surface. Seventh Son is the latest in this overused genre that is still hoping to produce the next Harry Potter. Does it succeed? Not by a long shot.
Adapted from Joseph Delaney's Wardstone Chronicles, the film itself offers little resemblance from the source material, aside from the name of the characters and some concepts; the story is completely different. So if you are a fan of the books, prepare to have your heart broken. The trailer itself will tell you most of what happens. Old warrior tries to train a young warrior who has to be a seventh son of a seventh son. Together they must hunt down an evil witch. Everything else is just details.
The film has an impressive line-up of actors, and they all did their best with what they were given. Jeff Bridges as Master Gregory was a tiny bit annoying--he had this really strange accent. Ben Barnes as the young apprentice and seventh son was pretty mechanical. On the other hand, Game of Thrones alum, Kit Harington, as Gregory's other apprentice was able to deliver a somewhat good performance in the small amount of time he was given, especially in his brief interaction with Julian Moore's Madam Malkin in the church. Moore, for her part, was the standout of the movie. She was able to bring menace to her evil witch with her voice and her stature. She was also able to convey the underlying vulnerability of her character, which I am sad to say is underdeveloped in the movie.
The film also suffers from a horrible climax. You know: the heroes attack the villain's lair and we expect some sort of great heroic act and final fight scene. They tried to do something different.... What is sad is the cliche would have been better.
It is a watchable popcorn film, nothing more. If you love swords and magic it could still be enjoyable.
Seventh Son hits US theaters on February 6.