Alexander Ludwig, Ian McShane, Gregory Smith. Sci/Fi action adventure. Written by John Hodge. Directed by David L. Cunningham.
FILM SYNOPSIS: This parable concerns a teenage boy who discovers he is the last of a group of immortals who must battle the forces of darkness. Going back and forth in time, our hero discovers clues, some dating back to biblical times that will lead to a climatic confrontation.
PREVIEW REVIEW: My first reaction was that this good vs. evil action adventure was a nightmarish muddled mess: too scary and complex for little ones, too simplistic and boring for adults. But on further reflection, the allegorical aspects, along with having a teenager as its main protagonist, may appeal to adolescent males.
The folks at Walden Media (The Chronicles of Narnia, Because of Winn Dixie, I Am David) have a track record that attests to the fact that story and a significant message should still be the essential special effects when making a fantasy. I suspect that the producers here are betting on the intended audience having read the book series, much like the Potter people did before they went to see those movies. The extra information the books would no doubt supply may give a deeper meaning to the goings-on in the movie. Without that info, however, many of us find it difficult figuring out the films symbolism.
The Seeker gains special abilities as he finds each of the six hidden magical mysterious buttons needed to save the world from dark forces. The Rider is a combo of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse bent on destroying the Seeker, then our world. So why doesnt he destroy the kid before he gets all the powers?
Both our hero and the villain have their helpers. While the rest of us fill our lives with the business of living, these devils and angels look diligently for these prizes that will conquer evil and bring peace on earth.
The young hero has just turned fourteen, a difficult age, which the film points out several times. As I recall, though its been 100 years, a 14-year-old boy is going through many changes. He discovers that he has some powers, but also discovers that 14-year-old girls have more powers. This may be the real revelation in this boy-bent actioneer.
Warner Bros. gave 14-year-old females Nancy Drew a few months ago, a movie that promoted a self-thinking young lady as a positive role model for preteens and up. Walden Media has now given boys of the same age the equivalent male counterpart.
The film contains lessons, family is lifted up, as is church-going and self-sacrifice, and it is a clean movie, devoid of crudity and objectionable language. The pacing is stilted and slow in the beginning, but as the action gears up, it becomes more involving. Its far from the quality of the Narnia film, but the intended audience may find it somewhat satisfying.