Sometimes being a seventh son, like being the son of a son of a sailor, or a plain ol’ son of a bitch, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Yes, you have six older brothers and a veritable cornucopia of uncles, but there’s a lot of pressure on a guy. For instance, in this movie you have to join Jeff Bridges on quixotic quests to kill witches whom he used to bang. Doesn’t sound like a productive way to spend a weekend, does it? Then there’s also the lack of health insurance, people turning into dragons, random giants, half-witch / half-gypsy spies and whatever else they can throw into the production schedule before they run out of cocaine and have to call it a day.
In this movie Jeff Bridges plays an idiot named Master Gregory. He’s what’s known as a “spook”, and basically he wanders around saying things like, “That’s a level 6 Gasp” or “I hope that’s not a boggart!” or “Is that an unbertstone?” None of this will mean anything to you, the audience, because no one will ever explain any of it. His job, and he does this job when the church bells ring, is to get demons out of little girls. Or kill bears that are really humans. There’s also a guy called the “master of swords” and a woman who turns into a cheetah. I don’t even know. I mean … yeah. He’s a middle ages Ghostbuster, as this takes place in a land without guns or whathaveyou, although for most of the movie he plays an offshoot of Rooster Cogburn meets a guy with marbles in his mouth. “Frefeith thart friziplesse!” is something he might yell at you in jest. Just do one of those nod-smile combos and hope he wasn’t looking for a response.
There are so many scenes of mountaintops in this movie, their helicopter budget must have been significant. Blood moons are also a huge thing for Seventh Son. A “blood moon”, which many cultures know as the “harvest moon”, is when Mother Malkin gets all her powers back. Mother Malkin is played by Julianne Moore, and in keeping with tradition in Seventh Son, she is also an idiot. She’s also a total witch! For real though, she’s a witch. She casts spells, and in one scene she redecorates her entire lair with a wave of her hand. I know ladies, right? If only. It turns out she’s got a real raging hard on for Master Gregory, and all because he threw her into a pit a while back, while PRETENDING he loved her. Definitely a jerk move out of Master Gregory, but you know how guys are, and plus this one is an idiot to boot.
Which brings us nicely to the crux of the action. Jon Snow is in the beginning of this film, but Mother Malkin shows him a thing or two about a thing or two if you’re picking up what I’m laying down. With his previous apprentice dispatched, Grego needs a new seventh son of a seventh son, because those are the rules. He knows exactly where to find one, shows up, bribes the kid’s dad (I mean, the guy already has six sons, what the hell) and then he’s got a new “Falcon Knight”. I’m pretty sure that’s what they call the order of knights they belong to, because I wrote it down in my notebook. Anyway, Jeff Bridges is the last one of his kind, the final “spook” standing up against the darkness. Note: I would have called them “49er Knights”, you know, because 7 x 7, but the film misses this opportunity. Also amazing is the fact that when Master Gregory takes this main character rube away there aren’t even six other brothers there for context. There’s just a few kids wandering around, because I guess extras cost extra wherever they shot this film.
Which brings us nicely to Ben Barnes – he plays an idiot named Tom Ward.
Before we start in on poor Tom, you should know that all of these images came directly from the official Seventh Son website. I had about six to choose from, all of them poorly lit, because that’s just the kind of attention to detail you can expect from a Legendary release in February. Yay!
Tom Ward, professional idiot spook apprentice, doesn’t really listen to Master Gregory, though they do share one pretty solid montage scene where he’s learning things. Gregory teaches him about “silver bane” and drops little pearls of wisdom such as “when you deal with the dark, dark gets in you.” Been there, done that, had to get tested on the way back. Gregory and Tom have to roll out to find Mother Malcon and her traveling pack of weirdos so she doesn’t take over the Earth and write a better movie.
Let’s see, what else happens here? Tom falls in love, surprising no one. Master Gregory exclaims, “Ffffftthhhh eeees gobblstern!” and Tom nods approvingly. There’s an action beat every ten minutes, even if the film has to rustle up assassins in the forest or giant monster lizards. Super soldier Master Gregory and his favorite lad Tom Ward fight back just as hard as they can before they are finally eaten by Falcor from The NeverEnding Story. Ha ha, no, only joshing with you, Tom and Gregory make a fine fighting team, even though they’ve only had time for one training montage. Helpfully, it turns out that this idiot Tom Ward has some real pluckiness, verve, and a healthy amount of moxie. The kid has that “it” factor that all the spooks look for nowadays, and as he joins Rooster Gregory in action it’s clear that we’re in for a battle of the ages. Will Mother Malcon get all her powers back? Will apprentice Tom make it all the way to “Spook” level? And what of the half-witch / half-gypsy woman I mentioned earlier, might her part in all this be important? SPOILER: Not for long, Yes, and Yes.
In the end, all we have is love. Mother Malcon loved that ol’ so and so, Falcon Knight Master Gregory, but he let her down because he was racist against witches. Tom loved his family, but he knew he had a duty to God and Country to rid the region of Julianne Moores. Does this make their love any less pure, any less sacred? I don’t know, no one does, that’s not what the film is about. This is a movie, first and foremost, about a merry bunch of idiots, hobbling along, whistling deranged showtunes, eating paste, and banging their feetsies off of tree stumps. Yup. This movie is a pile of fetid garbage … and not in a good way either. Maybe wait a few weekends until you see it, no need to rush out for that full frontal lobotomy just yet.