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Seventh Son (2014)

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When Mother Malkin, the queen of evil witches, escapes the pit she was imprisoned in by professional monster hunter Spook decades ago and kills his apprentice, he recruits young Tom, the seventh son of the seventh son, to help him.

Director:

Sergei Bodrov (as Sergey Bodrov)

Writers:

Charles Leavitt (screenplay), Steven Knight (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
3,235 ( 406)
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Bridges ... Master Gregory
Ben Barnes ... Tom Ward
Julianne Moore ... Mother Malkin
Alicia Vikander ... Alice
Antje Traue ... Bony Lizzie
Olivia Williams ... Mam Ward
John DeSantis ... Tusk
Kit Harington ... Mr. Bradley
Djimon Hounsou ... Radu
Gerard Plunkett ... Inquisitor
Jason Scott Lee ... Urag
Kandyse McClure ... Sarikin
Luc Roderique ... Strix
Zahf Paroo ... Virahadra
Timothy Webber ... Malcom Ward
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Storyline

John Gregory, who is a seventh son of a seventh son and also the local spook, has protected his country from witches, boggarts, ghouls and all manner of things that go bump in the night. However John is not young anymore, and has been seeking an apprentice to carry on his trade. Most have failed to survive. The last hope is a young farmer's son named Thomas Ward. Will he survive the training to become the spook that so many others couldn't? Should he trust the girl with pointy shoes? How can Thomas stand a chance against Mother Malkin, the most dangerous witch in the county? Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the face of evil, claim your destiny. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense fantasy violence and action throughout, frightening images and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA | UK | Canada | China

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 February 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Spook's Apprentice See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$95,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,217,640, 8 February 2015

Gross USA:

$17,223,265

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$114,178,613
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Warner Bros. was originally supposed to release the film as part of a long-running partnership with the film's producer, Legendary Entertainment. Advertising materials were already being made when both parties agreed to end the partnership, and Legendary affiliated with Universal Pictures, which is now distributing the film. This explains why early posters still contain the Warner Bros. logo. See more »

Goofs

Every shot of the moon (except for once during the credits) shows a partially-lit moon with the illuminated portion angled upward and away from Earth. This is possible during daytime, but not at night, which all of the scenes with the moon were. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mother Malkin: Gregory! Gregory! Have mercy. Release me. Gregory! Come back! Gregory!
Mother Malkin: [seasons come and go] My power returns with the rise of the blood moon. Hell awakens.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Neither a disaster nor a classic, but decent, fun and action-packed in its own right.
2 January 2015 | by shawneofthedeadSee all my reviews

It isn't easy to make a good fantasy film – as borne out by Seventh Son, which has suffered a particularly arduous journey to the silver screen. Originally slated for release in February 2013, its visual effects house went bankrupt and its studio, Legendary Pictures, parted ways with distributor Warner Bros. The film that's finally stumbling into cinemas almost two full years later (courtesy of Universal Pictures) should be an unmitigated disaster. Surprisingly, it's not. The film isn't exactly great, but it's a largely entertaining romp that's more inspired by than strictly faithful to Joseph Delaney's series of bestselling books.

Tom Ward (Ben Barnes) is the seventh son of a seventh son: a rare genetic lineage that sets him on the path to becoming a Spook a.k.a., a slayer of the myriad evil creatures that haunt the land. He becomes the apprentice of grizzled, alcohol-addled John Gregory (Jeff Bridges), shortly after Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore), an evil witch, escapes her earthly prison to claim the world as her own. With only a week to go before the blood moon rises, Tom trains with Gregory but finds himself distracted by the charms of Alice (Alicia Vikander) – a mysterious young lady with a few secrets of her own.

While hardly groundbreaking in any way, the story unfolds with unexpected punch. Tom's story – one in which he comes of age and comes into his own – is accompanied by plenty of action sequences, courtesy of bone-crunching battles between men and other men (and women) who turn into soaring, swooping, fire-breathing dragons. Tom tumbles over a cliff to avoid a pursuing monster, Gregory battles a gigantic bear, and wraiths of smoke and despair trail after the Spook and his apprentice as they make their way through a dark, brooding forest.

It helps, too, that the film is leavened by a welcome bite of humour. Seventh Son doesn't take itself as deadly seriously as some of its brethren in the fantasy genre do. That's why Gregory plunges into a bar brawl armed with nothing more than his flagon of beer, and Tom is allowed to make quite a few cutting remarks about his purported mentor that are heartily returned with interest.

Ardent fans of Delaney's books should be warned: Seventh Son riffs on elements of the novels rather than staying strictly true to them. For one thing, Tom is considerably older in the film. Most noticeably, Malkin is a very different character than she is on the page. She's given more depth and complexity here, her vile behaviour explained, if not strictly justified by, her past entanglements with Gregory. It's actually quite nice to see a fantasy world that doesn't simply perpetuate the trope of the wicked witch, but instead dreams up characters that fall along a broad spectrum of morality.

Barnes is well-cast as Tom, holding his own as both a hero and quasi-romantic lead. He shares a sweet, though not particularly electric, chemistry with Vikander who is, thankfully, called upon to do more than simper and flirt. But there are considerably more thrills to be had with Bridges, who manages to fold charm, menace and darkness into Gregory; and Moore, who's clearly having plenty of fun cutting her way through scenes as a whirlwind of madness and malevolence.

By all accounts, Seventh Son should really have been an outright flop. It may still play as such to any fantasy aficionados who are demanding greatness on the level of The Lord Of The Rings. But, for pretty much everyone else, Seventh Son is an entertaining, undemanding film with some good ideas and a lot of fun moments. It's not a particularly great example of its genre but, given its troubled production history, that it's not completely execrable is probably nothing short of a miracle.


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