The saving grace of fantasy flick Seventh Son is actor Jeff Bridges’ ridiculous accent – but even that will likely make his dialogue incomprehensible to some. Bridges is Master Gregory, the Spook in this boilerplate medieval fantasy world tasked with tending to all creatures that go bump in the night. His nemesis is Julianne Moore’s Mother Malkin, an evil witch with ties to Gregory’s past. In order to combat this threat, the Spook conscripts Tom Ward (Ben Barnes), the seventh son of a seventh son, to be his new apprentice.
In short, Seventh Son is paint-by-numbers fantasy set in a fantasy world so underdeveloped and uninteresting that I can’t recall the name of a single locale visited. I love the fantasy genre, but I’ll make no excuses here – I’m sure the books that Seventh Son is based on are much more thought out but this adaptation makes Eragon look like a classic by comparison. It all comes down to the screenplay, which is rife with clichés and which brushes over key plot points and character development in equal measure. And that’s not to mention the particularly awful romance between Barnes’ boring Spook-in-training and witch-in-training Alice (Alicia Vikander).
Seventh Son is saved by Jeff Bridges, who adopts a bizarre accent that at least made his character interesting whenever he was on screen. Meanwhile, the big budget ensures that the visuals are up to par, with standard action beats that are clearly shot and come at a quick clip. Perhaps its best asset however is that it does move at a brisk pace, which forces you to not get too hung up on how terrible the dialogue and plotting can be at any given point. Passable B-grade fantasy at best, but look for it in your future bargain bins.