I’ve never seen a medieval country-western before. I think the closest to that sort of feel was Ladyhawke (1985) with Rutger Hauer, Matthew Broderick and Michelle Pfeiffer. The sort of galloping into the sunset with shields and broad swords feel that gives the unique sense of leather, sweat and steel – with a twang. That was sort of how I felt watching Seventh Son. I don’t consider that a bad thing either; It gave the movie character and some semblance of personality.
What can I say? I actually enjoyed the flick more than not. It’s not the greatest thing you’ll see in 2015, but it was like they took some of the camp elements of what was wrong with Van Helsing (2004) and made what I feel was an imperfect movie about regret and wizardry that at least could have been a decent franchise had the critics not decided it was ripe to eviscerate without regard for what the movie actually put forth. Honestly, this movie was in production hell for so long that I believe all of the positive buzz it had at the onset truly died away and seeded the roots of hatred and loathing by the time it came out. Originally scheduled for an early 2013 release, the delays in the production were annoying to the point that I didn’t actually believe it would come out. When it did release, I was so uninterested that I just let it slide. I can say that regardless of the pointless Rotten Tomatoes meter (12% the last time I checked it), this isn’t as bad as it makes it out to be. In fact, I’d say it was a mid-tier movie that truly did deserve a little more love.
John Gregory (Jeff Bridges) aka The Spook, is a wizen, fatigued but deadly witch hunter that is well known for losing young apprentices in the heat of battle. I have to admit though, his British country slang accent had me rolling laughing. After losing his last apprentice, he’s in search of the seventh son of the seventh son as is tradition and a requirement for any new Spook recruit. Tom Ward (Ben Barnes) is a young man itching for a future beyond the agrarian life he was born into. As the Spook recruits him, we learn that there is much more to this young man than meets the eye. While he’s still wet behind the ears, he has potential to be great and he aims to be great. In the epic struggle between the powerful witch, Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore), her henchmen and the Spooks, we learn about a much more regretful tale of love and woe that jeopardizes the land and the lives of everyone on it.
Again, not a great flick but loads of fun and filled with some interesting characters; especially Radu (Djimon Hounsou) and Urag (Jason Scott Lee). My only real gripe is that it was really paint by the numbers and I really could have done without the young “love story” angle which really proved to add little value to the story overall.