Many decades ago Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges) imprisons the evil Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore) for eternity, however Malkin escapes and when Master Gregory and his apprentice (Kit Harington) attempt to recapture her, Gregory's apprentice is killed in action. Master Gregory needs a new apprentice and quickly finds Tom Ward (Ben Barnes), a seventh son of a seventh son. The two embark on an adventure to stop Mother Malkin destroying the world.
Normally when a film's release date is shifted numerous times it means that the studio lacks confidence in the film. Sometimes the film turns out to be surprisingly ok, however on most occasions the studio's lack of confidence is well founded and in this case the studio had the right hunch. The film is based on the first novel of Joseph Delaney's series of books, The Spook's Apprentice, which are a perfectly decent set of books that follow a Spook and his young apprentice. Though the film seems a very loose adaptation as the novel's countryside was based on Lancashire but in the film they seemed to have Americanised it a touch, giving it a totally different setting.
A quick glance at the cast list shows a collection of genuine talent and with stars like Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander and Jeff Bridges its quite surprising that the film is so dull. All three of the performers give quite poor performances, you would never believe that Julianne Moore is one of the finest actors of her generation judging by this performance and you'd also never guess that Alicia Vikander is one of the industry's rising stars. A good performance in the lead role is lacking too as a miscast Ben Barnes (he's 12 in the novel) gives a performance that doesn't have a likeable charisma that would have made for a more engaging central character and he shares no chemistry with Jeff Bridges, who plays his master whose hammy mumbling is annoying and hard to decipher.
These are all seriously talented performers who have either won Oscars or may win Oscars in the future so their poor performances must not be entirely of their own doing. Director Sergei Bodrov never gets the performers performing at their very best as they struggle to build any chemistry with each other or come out relatively unscathed by a dreadfully written script. Seventh Son and its poor GCI will be quickly forgotten about in the deluge of fantasy films that have been released and still yet to come.
The film is terrible but it's almost worth watching for one scene that reminded me a of a great, comic scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Almost.