Kyle J. Steenblik

Seventh Son is Light but Enjoyable Fantasy

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3 1/2 stars out of 5Seventh Son
Directed by: Sergei Bodrov
seventh_son_poster-jeff-bridges-103Written by: Charles Leavitt, Matt Greenberg, Aaron Guzikowski
Based on: The Spook’s Apprentice by Joseph Delaney
Starring: Julianne Moore, Olivia Williams, Djimon Hounsou, Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, Antje Traue, Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington
Running time: 103 minutes
Rated PG-13 for intense fantasy violence and action throughout, frightening images and brief strong language

Seventh Son is not a masterpiece of cinematic excellence.  I would not call the story highly evolved, nor would I classify the quality of the production superb.  I would call the story interesting and entertaining and the quality of the overall production highly satisfying.  In short, this film did not challenge me, in the slightest, but I was entertained.  It was well balanced, smartly paced, and engaging enough to keep the audience.  As a friend of mine would call it, it’s a popcorn muncher.

In a time of enchantments when legends and magic collide, the sole remaining warrior of a mystical order (Jeff Bridges) travels to find a prophesized hero born with incredible powers, the last Seventh Son (Ben Barnes). Torn from his quiet life as a farmhand, the unlikely young hero embarks on a daring adventure with his battle-hardened mentor to vanquish a dark queen (Julianne Moore) and the army of supernatural assassins she has dispatched against their kingdom. – Courtesy Legendary Pictures

If I were to pick a single element from this film as the most enjoyable, it would have to be Jeff Bridges’ performance.  His delivery was a light counterpoint to the darker tones of the film.  The humor was excellently balanced the light fare presented in the plot, which appears to have been slimed down from the original novel.  Having not read the book, I am not sure how much slimmer the film was, but I imagine it was substantial.

Having mentioned how slimmed down the story appears I feel I should elaborate on that.  Everything in this film is in the “just enough” camp.  The primary characters are developed just enough to make them interesting.  The story is just elaborate enough to spark interest.  It is just funny enough to keep the film from taking itself too seriously.  The action is exciting enough to keep you entertained, the effects are just good enough to keep them from pulling you out of the film.  The entirety of the film is really a very good example, is almost every sense, of what is minimally required to make a film light and entertaining.   A great film, or even a really good film, pushes these elements past this minimal level.  Great films push as far as possible and challenge the audience in some way.  This film is really like a short amusement park ride.  It is fun, entertaining, and even re-watchable; it will likely do well in theatres, better on Blu-ray, and in a few years will be a cult favorite.  I cannot see it earning any sequels, although I would not object.

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