Film Review: Following a Two-Year Delay, ‘Seventh Son’ Should Have Been Shelved

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CHICAGO – I can’t decide which is worse: the “fake deep talk” from Jeff Bridges in “Seventh Son” or the “angry whisper talk” from Eddie Redmayne in “Jupiter Ascending,” which also opened on Friday. Both speech impediments are ugly fish out of water, both films are getting punished by critics and both are underperforming at domestic box offices.

Ironically, both movies have also also been quite delayed and now we see why. “Jupiter Ascending” opened two days ago after initially being slated to open in July 2014. That film’s push back was justified to finish its extensive special effects, which “The Matrix” creators did without remembering to fix its laughable acting and weak story. Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

Also knowing it was in trouble, “Seventh Son” was originally supposed to open way back in Feb. 2013, but the film was pushed back once and then a second time to Feb. 2015. It even changed distribution hands from Warner Bros. to Universal. While the film got amplified to IMAX status, even that huge-screen format can’t make large a film that only captures a small imprint.

Though there were some reasons to be stoked for “Seventh Son,” including the reunion of Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore for the first time since “The Big Lebowski,” the film is fighting an uphill battle due to a weak fan base.

With his awkwardly guttural deep voice, Bridges plays Master Gregory: the mentor to his new apprentice Thomas (Ben Barnes from “The Chronicles of Narnia” films and 2009’s “Dorian Gray”). Like the old man, Thomas is en route to become a Spook and wage war against evil magical witches and other dark creatures.

StarRead Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Seventh Son”.

Bridges last played this kind of character in 2014’s mega flop “R.I.P.D.”. And the 2010 Nicolas Cage fantasy film “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” which features a similar story, also didn’t hit a home run.

While those memories might prove to be telltale predictions for the film’s struggle, most of all “Seventh Son” is battling a quiet fan base. Joseph Delaney’s books are nowhere as prevalent as “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight” novels and films, so people deciding to take a chance on the “seventh son of the seventh son” are more leery to do so. Many just won’t.

“Seventh Son” stars Ben Barnes, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Djimon Hounsou, Alicia Vikander, Olivia Williams and Jason Scott Lee from director Sergey Bodrov and writers Charles Leavitt and Steven Knight based on the book series “The Last Apprentice” by Joseph Delaney. The film, which has a running time of 102 minutes and opened on Feb. 6, 2015, is rated “PG-13” for intense fantasy violence and action throughout, frightening images and brief strong language.

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Seventh Son”.

Ben Barnes and Jeff Bridges in Seventh Son
Tom Ward (Ben Barnes, left) is trained by Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges) in “Seventh Son”.
Image credit: Kimberly French, Legendary Pictures, Universal Pictures

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Seventh Son”.

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