Julianne Moore's Drag(on) Race (and may the best dragon... win!)
Hoyts Melbourne Central - Sunday 08 March 2015, 11:00am
Running time: 102m
Country: United States
Release date: 05/03/15
Cost: $10 (Optus Rewards)
Rating: 3.5/10 (ME 1.5/5, DP 2/5)
Seventh Son is a film adapted from one of the fantasy novels in Joseph Delaney's The Wardstone Chronicles. It's the story of Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges), a witch hunter ("spook") who needs a new apprentice; a job that, unsurprisingly, lacks long-term stability, as shown in an early scene by the demise of the previous apprentice Billy (Kit Harrington). Gregory miraculously (and without a whole lot of apparent effort) finds unassuming pig farmer Tom Ward (Ben Barnes) who (ever so fortunately) is also the seventh son of a seventh son. Together Gregory and Tom prepare to fight the evil drag(on) witch queen Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore) and her witch followers, before the rise of the once-in-one-hundred-years blood moon which somehow increases these witches' power. Maybe it's because they practice blood magic and eat blood cakes; we don't really know and we saw the film.
Jeff Bridges' alcohol dependent Gregory (sort of a Bad Santa meets Gandalf) slurs his way through dialogue that is both dull and uninspired. Ben Barnes (poor Tom), who spends the whole time looking as confused about the plot as we were, becomes a master swordsman and super witch slayer after just a week of practice. Go Tom! Julianne Moore (yes, THE Julianne Moore who won the academy award for best actress for Still Alice two weeks ago) camps it up in a series of lovely frocks and elaborate eye make-up (best raccoon eyes EVER following the final confrontation) but her character is little more than a two-dimensional villain that gives her nothing to work with. Pity.
This film looks good and special effects are well utilised, but this is a movie that it is certainly not worth rushing out to see, though we suspect it won't be screening for long. You might enjoy it on a rainy Saturday night when it comes to Foxtel... and you don't have some ironing to do instead. (DP)