Seventh Son 3D, film review: Sword-and-sorcery fantasy has a taste of Ray Harryhausen about it

(12A) Sergei Bodrov, 102 mins Starring: Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Ben Barnes, Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington
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The Independent Culture

Oscar-winners Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore deliver two of the hammiest performances of their distinguished careers in Sergei Bodrov's overcooked sword-and-sorcery fantasy. As the sorceress Mother Malkin, Moore dresses in Siouxsie and the Banshees fashion and does a lot of hissing.

Playing the knight and witchfinder John Gregory (the Spook), Bridges wears a Catweazle beard and reprises his ornery old-timer routine from True Grit, delivering his dialogue in a near-inaudible bar-stool growl. Ben Barnes is his reluctant assistant, the seventh son of a seventh son, therefore apparently possessed of special necromancy skills. The Swedish actress Alicia Vikander is the witch's daughter he falls in love with.

There are some nifty special effects – witches turning into dragons, explosions, scenes of demonic possession – alongside the clunking dialogue. We are a long way from Russian director Bodrov's Tolstoy adaptation Prisoner of the Mountains (1996) but the film is enjoyable enough if taken as a cheesy, old-fashioned B-movie with a taste of Ray Harryhausen about it.