The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (review)

The series of young-adult fantasy novels this flick is based upon long predate Harry Potter — they were written in the 1960s and 70s — but this dramatically altered movie adaptation is a clear example of jumping on the Harry bandwagon… one that stumbles dangerously in the process. In fact: Remember hearing that the early studio inclination with Harry was to Americanize him? This tedious, plodding, thoroughly unmagical movie could well be what that Hollywood Harry might have been. Teen Will Stanton — British in the book, American here, and played by Canadian Alexander Ludwig — discovers, on his 13th birthday, that he’s got magic powers and must save the world from evil by seeking out six enchanted doodads that do something or other — it’s never clear what, just that they’ll save the world. How? Why, they’re magic! Internal consistency is less important here than merely keeping the by-the-numbers plot moving, never mind what it’s all supposed to mean — stuff just happens to Will because he’s the Seeker of the doodads, and he’s the Seeker because, well, pseudo-mysterious dudes like Ian McShane (Hot Rod) tell him things like “You are Will Stanton, you are the Seeker.” Keep saying it, and maybe we’ll believe it eventually. But probably not. Oh, and if you’re thinking of checking this out for the awesome Christopher Eccleston (Heroes), who plays the supernaturally evil bad guy in the big black cape and threatening black boots, don’t bother: he looks just as bored as we are.

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