The Seeker: The Dark is Rising

2008-01-10 16:44
What it's about:

On his 14th birthday Will Stanton (Alexander Ludwig) learns from Merriman Lyon (Ian McShane) that he is an immortal who will fight in an upcoming battle between good and evil. Will is also visited by a mysterious dark rider (Christopher Eccleston) who leads the forces of darkness. He is forced to confront his destiny and the danger it poses to his family.

What we thought of it:

If you are a fan of Susan Cooper's series of books upon which this film is based, you had better stop reading now and pretend that The Dark is Rising was never made. If you love fantasy films and can't wait until the next Harry Potter or Narnia movie then, well, you had better develop some patience, because this is not going to hit the spot in any way, shape or form.

Without resorting to spoilers, the film is nothing like the book, eschewing everything that made it different from generic children's fantasy and topping it off with some really lackluster special effects. The problem is whether you've read the book or not, all you'll end up seeing is a third rate Harry Potter rip off.

Starting with almost promising scenes, like Will's chilling encounter with the agents of the dark in a shopping mall and the initial appearance of the evil rider, things soon start to slide downhill and cliché is piled upon cliché. The time travel sequences closely resemble Harry Potter's flashbacks, and the ravens and dark forces look like the dementors. Even Ian McShane and other warriors of the light come across as a poor substitute of The Order of the Phoenix.

The Dark is Rising is one of those films that just missed the band wagon and it secretly knows it. Only the strong contenders are still riding the epic fantasy wave started by Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, and this film is hopelessly out of its league. It's nothing you haven't seen before recently, and there are better fantasy films on circuit now, so why bother?

- Ivan Sadler
Young Will Stanton learns he has been chosen as a champion in an upcoming battle between good and evil on his 14th birthday, when he is approached by a group of ancient guardians and a mysterious dark horseman.

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