Directed by: Sergey Bodrov
Screenplay by: Charles Leavitt & Steven Knight (The Hundred Foot Journey)
Screen Story: Matt Greenberg (Screenplay in Reign of Fire)
*Based on the novel The Spooks Apprentice by Joseph Delaney (haven’t read this one, but I will now!)
Release Date: February 6, 2015
The Hook: I didn’t really know what this one was about going in. All I remember is I watched the trailer and tagged it TBW. I know, bad huh? But for the record, there’s a reason I marked it! And my local theatre offered it as part of a double feature so who can argue with that?
I’m happy with just leaving it at that, but of course I can’t so …
The seventh son of a family with seven children serves a purpose in this world. They have a calling, a destiny, and while I’m not quite clear as to what that means exactly it’s basically a secret order that serves humanity by vanquishing, or in this case maintaining, demons. I swear, when the scene that explains the whole seventh son thing started all I could think of was “Oh, it’s a medieval Supernatural!” Bad, I know, but that’s what popped into my mind.
It follows the last knight in this order, Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges), and he seeks out a seventh son because his current one was killed by an evil witch, Mother Malkin (Juliana Moore). This takes him to the Ward family and their seventh son Tom Ward (Ben Barnes). Tom and Gregory’s journey begins immediately to Mother Malkin’s lair because the Blood Moon is rising and that’s the height of Malkin’s power.
There’s magic (of course), various degrees of sorcery from the witches (of course), and the world isn’t always so black and white (of course). Witches aren’t always evil and the good guys aren’t always so good. I mean, you know the drill. And while it sounds a bit boring and straight-foward, it’s done well so it’s fun. And there’s a lovely twist that was somewhat predictable but still awesome because, like, … a hybrid! Hybrids are always pretty cool (up until the point when they’re not).
Kudos on the plot. And I’m glad that even thought I couldn’t remember what it was about, I was smart enough to tag it.
Acting: Not bad. I have to say I like Ben Barnes, though he will always be known to me as Prince Caspian. He’s not one of those super-prominent actors, but I really enjoyed him as Prince Caspian in The Chronicles of Narnia and I thought he did a good job as Alejandro in The Big Wedding. I have to admit though, he seems to match a bit more in this fantasy/historic era kind of roles. I haven’t seen Alicia Vikander (Alice) before, but I thought she held herself well. And it was good to see Juliana Moore and Jeff Bridges. Haven’t really seen them in a while. And while I’m mentioning Juliana Moore and Jeff Bridges, I really loved seeing Jason Scott Lee (Urag) even though it was a very short and small role and Djimon Hounsou (Radu), who will always be Midnight to me, did a good job, but that’s no surprise. He does well in all the roles he’s played, at least those I’ve seen anyway. And I was so stoked to see Kit Harington, not minding the brief shots! Overall, this cast did well together. I’m not sure if the chemistry between Barnes and Vikander was enough to convince me of love, but they did a better job than Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman, in my humble opinion.
Visual Effects/Camera work: Pretty good. The graphics weren’t tacky or overdone. It provided a balance feel in this fantasy world. Not bad at all.
Movie Adaptation: I can’t comment since I haven’t read the novel yet, but after seeing this movie, it’s definitely on my TBR list. This movie was pretty awesome, since I’m a fantasy geek, and I can’t wait to see how much the movie left out in the book.
So, I’m definitely adding this to my library. Definitely worth the investment and I think I’m going Blu-Ray on this one. I definitely recommend it if you like a good fantasy!