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Movie Review – Seventh Son

If you’re my age, you may remember playing Basic Edition Dungeons and Dragons.  Yeah, it wasn’t too intricate, and the characters and monsters you encountered were pretty simple, but a thirteen year old could figure it out and be a Dungeon Master in a couple of hours, and everyone had a lot of fun.  If you remember the hours of fun, gallons of soda, and mountains of snacks consumed as you wound your way through forests, dungeons, and villages, please raise your hand.

Now, imagine that somebody made a movie out of the teenage ideas of magic and monsters that were in that Basic set, and you have the makings for a movie like Seventh Son.  It’s a lot of fun, had some outstanding visual effects, and went just deep enough to enjoy.

The movie centers around Thomas, played by Ben Barns, the proverbial seventh son of a seventh son, who is bought by “Spook” Gregory, played by Jeff Bridges.  A Spook is a knight who would fit very well into a Larry Correia novel – a monster hunter and destroyer of witches.  Gregory is the last of his kind, but continues to ‘recruit’ apprentices to take over for him.  His last apprentice, played by Kit Harrington (who probably didn’t even have to change his costume from his character on a little-known TV show), is killed in a battle with Mother Malkin, played by Julianne Moore.  Gregory and Malkin have a history, including Gregory locking Malkin in a cave for a few decades, and she’s back for revenge.  Tom meets and falls in love with Alice, played by Julia Vikander, when she is about to be burned as a witch. The rest is pure monsters, magic, and mayhem.

The acting in the movie is a bit uneven, but not so bad that the movie itself is not enjoyable.  Bridges never seems to find the correct voice for Gregory, and his portrayal changes several times during the movie.  Also, the love scenes between Tom and Alice seem to have been written by a tweenage girl who has never actually been kissed, but can imagine how it would work.  Julianne Moore turns in the best performance of the picture as Malkin, which isn’t surprising.

However, the action scenes were pretty well done, and the visual effects were excellent.  Whereas Peter Jackson’s use of CGI in “The Battle of the Five Armies” was clumsy and stood out, the CGI monsters in “Seventh Son” blended in very well with the setting.

Overall, I’d give this movie a low B.  It was worth the cost of the tickets and popcorn, but won’t be something I’ll seek out later.

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