What’s the fun of being a seeker if you don’t actually get to do any seeking? After the leaders of a group known as the Old Ones (a.k.a. The HBO Stars of Yesterday) tell him that he is a warrior, a doubting Will Stanton (Alexander Ludwig) Googles “light and dark” and gets a corroborating answer on the very first line. Usually I have to scroll down all the way to the bottom of a search page—sometimes even go to a second or third one—before I find the information I’m looking for. Also, when I Google Will’s search terms, the first thing I see is a link to a BBC Science Clips page targeted at children ages five to six. This is apt only in the sense that The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising takes place—for unknown reasons, at least until the last reel—in a rural British village and is aimed at undiscriminating types who like to stick their fingers inside pencil sharpeners. After Ian McShane and Frances Conroy tell him he’s the seventh son of a seventh son and that he must find a series of clues in order to defeat the world-destroying darkness summoned by The Rider (Christopher Eccleston, ostensibly standing in for Alan Rickman), Will succumbs to Shaky Cam Disorder before clues begin to materialize in his peripheral vision. Small fry doesn’t have to do much work to save the world, and after the umpteenth distortion of perspective, dramatic overhead, and shot of the Rider’s horse raising its angry hoofs in the air, one begins to question the film’s own laziness. Do not blame the film for having one-eighth the budget of The Chronicles of Narnia or any of the Lord of the Rings movies, but cast it aside for not having one-eighth of those films’ heart and gravitas.
- David L. Cunningham
- John Hodge
- Alexander Ludwig, Ian McShane, Frances Conroy, Christopher Eccleston, Gregory Smith, Amelia Warner, James Cosmo, Jim Piddock, John Benjamin Hickey, Wendy Crewson, Edmund Entin, Gary Entin
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