Movie Review: Seventh Son

Based on the book, The Spook’s Apprentice, Seventh Son was originally slated for a Feb 2013 release, but was delayed for a good long year till December 31 in 2014. If anything, the epic delay is a telltale sign from the studios that the epic fantasy is bound to do badly at the box office.

Harbingers aside, Seventh Son turns out to be a reiteration of the tried-and-tested tale of good versus evil.


Tom Ward (Ben Barnes), the fabled seventh son of the seventh son, is gifted with extraordinary powers.  After being swept into a fight against the forces of darkness, he is recruited by John Gregory (Jeff Bridges) to stop the Queen of Monsters (Julianne Moore), before the blood moon rises and she takes over the world. Tom pushes his limits and trains to annihilate a murderous league of assassins led by Radu (Djimon Hounsou) and witches, before destroying the big bad Queen herself.

The story seemingly crosses off every trope in the fantasy genre handbook, but that’s exactly the problem. The chosen one lives a life of peaceful seclusion, till fate comes knocking and throws the burden of saving the world on his shoulders – does that sound familiar?


Drawing from other popular franchises like The Hunger Games, the movie also tries to draw in audiences by setting up similar star-crossed lover scenarios, which are gratuitous at best.   While 5-minute training montages are pleasing to watch, they are ultimately cliched and forgettable.


Some of Hollywood’s finest are on board this Sergei Bodrov vehicle, including a certain Game of Thrones star who proves he’s still a greenhorn. Ben Barnes continues to charm the hearts of women like he did as Prince Caspian in The Chronicles of Narnia. His lines may cliché-laden, but we’re expecting most fans to make an exception on account of his boyish good looks.


Fans anticipating a Jeff Bridges-Julianne Moore reunion since The Big Lebowski will be disappointed as the chemistry between the 2 characters is sorely lacking. Bridges himself seems to be on a rather unlucky streak lately, with most of his movies raking in poor reviews (see R.I.P.D.). Julianne Moore is also underwhelming as the villainess, especially when comparing this performance to her stirring portrayal of Margaret White in Carrie.


There’s an apparent effort to bring the audience into a number of different set locations. Besides the usual mountains and valleys, audiences get to navigate the busy streets of desert cities and fight dragons in abandoned ruins, all in stereoscopic 3D if they desire.

Seventh Son doesn’t provide anything new from the timeless action-fantasy genre. Its cliched lines and convenient plot holes may leave audiences face-palming themselves in the theatre – but on the bright side, it’s only 109 minutes long. 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars


Release Date: 31 December

Runtime: 109 minutes

Language: English

Censorship rating: PG13

Genre: Adventure / Fantasy 

Director: Sergei Bodrov

Cast: Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, Julianne Moore, Djimon Hounsou, Olivia Williams

Photo Credits: Legendary Pictures/Universal Pictures