Picoreview: Seventh Son

Picoreview: Seventh Son: I can’t tell if that was subjectively bad or objectively bad.

The problem is that I’ve read the source books, but not for quite a while, and they’re a terrible adaptation of the source books but because my memory of them isn’t clear I spent a great deal of the movie going, “Wait, is that…did that…was that…okay, that’s DEFINITELY not from the books…,” which left me uncertain at the end if I’d seen your bog-standard bad fantasy film, in which case, for a bog-standard bad fantasy film it might not have been as bad as many, or if I’d actually seen a bad movie AND a bad adaptation.

If you’re not familiar with the source books, 1. you should be because they’re wonderful (The Wardstone Chronicles, Joseph Delaney), and 2. the main character, Tom Ward, is 12 in the books, nominally 18 in the movie, and played by 34 year old Ben Barnes.

That kind of gives you a ballpark for how not-the-book this is. I’m disappointed because they really could have done a terrific 7-movie series by starting Tom at 12, a la Harry Potter, and growing him up, but…they didn’t do that. Worse, Jeff Bridges, who could have been a genuinely inspired Spook, is at his mumble-mouthed-least-appealing here, and has come as close as I’ve ever seen him to phoning in a performance. Same with Julianne Moore, which I didn’t even know was possible. With either of them, actually.

The best that can be said for Seventh Son is that at 102 minutes, 7 or 8 of which I missed because I was late to the movie, it is at least not too long a film.

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