‘The Seventh Son’ is less than powerful

If you have a couple of hours to spare and want to look at some pretty scenery while watching warlords fight witches, you might consider seeing “The Seventh Son.”

“The Seventh Son” is a 2014 American epic fantasy film directed by Sergei Bodrov, starring Ben Barnes, Jeff Bridges, and Julianne Moore. Much of the movie was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, and the scenery was often attractive and expansive. The 3D effects add value to the movie, since the story, though it had some nice elements, was not quite substantial.

One of the beginning scenes is a typical Hollywood movie bar fight. The heroes are immediately identified in such a scene because they are the ones who win.

The title and theme of the story is based on a folk tale that can be found throughout the world, which gives the story some context.

The motif is referenced in the movie when the young apprentice (Barnes) points out a tapestry that depicts the story of “The Seventh Son.” The power of “The Seventh Son” character is referred to a few times in the movie, reinforcing the story’s motif.

The story plays lightly on the element of surprise. The novice apprentice is uncultivated; it seems his success in the journey ahead is impossible even though he proves to be willing and brave.

It is soon revealed that both luck and the support from a sacred object are on his side. His master (Bridges) acknowledges to him that he “does not die easily” and that “he slays the unslayable.” It is a catchy hook that draws the audience in and adds a layer of meaning to the story.

While the mentor and his apprentice set out to capture and kill the evil witch (Moore), the main tension in the story is generated by the apprentice’s love interest, a girl he meets who, like himself, is half witch and half human.

It is not immediately clear, in the beginning, if she is a good witch or a bad witch. Her betrayal of him is actually meant to help him and it ultimately serves this purpose. Her actions lead to a battle, the heroes gain power over the evil forces, and the land is restored to balance once again.

There were funny moments in the movie that also make it enjoyable. The mentor and apprentice traveled with an ugly but nice monster who kept them company while also protecting them. Another monster, a huge and unfriendly ground dweller, chases the traveling trio off a ledge, then topples after them into the water below. It is a humorous and unexpected scene.

In the end, after the battle was won, the young apprentice is told to break the rules that he was taught so that he can discover his own destiny. It is an endearing moment where the audience relates to the character while it elicits a light-hearted response. The movie has an upbeat and hopeful ending that serves the movie’s primary purpose which is to entertain.

It was a moderately enjoyable film with an engaging story, but not one that will stick in one’s mind in the long run. From a scale of one to five, “The Seventh Son” gets a three.