** ½ out of ****
Many of the reviews out there will have you believe that Seventh Son is the worst steaming pile ever. Granted, it's not great. But it's not that bad either. Actually, this typical “hero's journey” is a mildly entertaining fantasy-adventure.
In the age of dragons and smokin' hot evil witches, an aging spook – a slayer of deadly supernatural beings – by the name of John Gregory (Jeff Bridges) is in need of a new apprentice to battle the most powerful and dangerous witch of them all, Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore). Gregory finds a potential apprentice in farm boy Tom Ward (a too contemporary looking Ben Barnes), who is the seventh son of a seventh son. Distracting young Tom from his training, which he must master within a week's time, is a foxy and mysterious witch, Alice (Alicia Vikander). Can she be trusted? Is she a good witch or a bad witch?
Seventh Son had been sitting on a shelf for a few years because the film's production company, Legendary Pictures, parted ways with their distributor, Warner Bros. The film has now been picked up by Universal Pictures for distribution.
However, I do have my suspicions that some tinkering, editing-wise, had gone on during the film's down time. The set-up seems rushed and character moments are overwhelmed by too many digital effects and action scenes.
Still, I did find some enjoyment here, especially Bridges' oddball performance. He plays this kind of like a drunk John Huston. Because he doesn't approach the role in a straightforward manner, Bridges is very entertaining to watch. Julianne Moore also seems to be having a good time in an appropriately over-the-top performance as the central menace, and it's infectious.
Seventh Son is no great shakes, but it's inoffensive entertainment for a lazy Sunday afternoon.