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With Jim Sabatini

The Seeker: The Dark is Rising

The Seeker
Alexander Ludwig, Emma Lockhart, Christopher Eccleston, Frances Conroy and Ian McShane

Rated: PG 
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: October 5, 2007 Released by: Twentieth Century Fox

This misconceived fantasy from the Susan Cooper tome, part of her "Dark Rising Sequence" is from the production company that offered more coherent, entertaining fare like Bridge to Terabithia. If anyone thinks that there's a smidgen of the magic of "Harry Potter" here, they're in desperate need of a reality check.

The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising is an adventure about another Chosen One, like the boy in the equally dismal Eragon. The fate of the world will be in his hands, that is, one American 14-year-old Will Stanton (Alexander Ludwig). Will's life in a scenic English village isn't as quaint as his surroundings with the best relationship going for him being with sweet younger sister Gwen (Emma Lockhart).

Supporting fry of Cooper's printed work know that Will is the titular Seeker, having to locate six signs to maintain Light's power in battle with the deadly Darkness. Christopher Eccleston (remembered in the stylish, original Highlander) plays a local physician who turns out to be Dark personified as a masked Rider of a wondrous steed. His purpose is turn people against Will and emits a dark mist as part of a destructive path.

Will does have a vigilant backing, including the Old Ones, who provide this "seventh son" (his most likely older twin brother abducted by the dark side during infancy) with insight into his true nature and purpose, realizing his special powers.

Frances Conroy tries to essay an English accent as the peculiar Miss Greythorne. Her confidante is the sagely Merriman, played by the usually impressive Ian McShane. Here, he is pretty vapid and a little woosy.

Writer John Hodge doesn't make much intrigue out of the conflict arising from all of the time-travel culminating in a face-off with The Rider. Unspectacular visuals and little surprise with the sinister presences accompany what is some kind of identification for our hero which seems more random and manufactured than brightly conceived.

In essence, the material and blasse production hobble the cast, especially Ludwig who tries to engage, but is hardly more than a cipher under the ham-fisted direction of David L. Cunningham. The final reel may even lose those who have been ably attentive up until that point. The result, this time, is something that will hardly appeal to the religious right, as this incomprehensible chronicle of the supernatural is not the kind of stuff made of legend nor worth seeking.

  Frank Chris Tony Jim Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
The Seeker: The Dark is Rising       D       D

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