The Seeker: The Dark is Rising (2007) David L. Cunningham

Production Budget: maybe $20 million

Worldwide Gross: $31 million

I was unable to find solid numbers on the budget so I put in the best guestimates I could find.  However this is cited as one of the poorest wide releases for a fantasy movie.  So if you want to think of it as a bomb or a flop it makes no difference to me.  Now apparently this is a series of popular books but I never heard of them.  I have no idea if this movie is faithful to the books and I really don’t care.  I am just judging this as a movie.

Not to try to sound like Linkara but this movie sucks.  Say what you want even about Eragon, but even they TRIED to build a world and a backstory before getting fed up and flat out ripping off Star Wars.  What is the story behind The Seeker?  The light and dark fought 1000 years ago with light winning.  For some reason (never explained) the keys to beating the dark were hidden into six areas and covered with symbols.  For some reason (still not really explained) Will is a prophesized Seeker who can see through the symbols and finding the six tokens.  Meanwhile there is a dark rider (played by Christopher Eccleston) who is trying to get the tokens himself.  That is it!  How lazy are you that you can no longer come up with mystical races, evil characters, and actual freaking reasons for a war between those races?  Who is this rider?  Why is he trying to destroy the world?  Why after 1000 years is he coming back?  Who are the Old Ones?  Why are light and dark, never before spoken as actual physical entities, now fighting?  What kind of theology are we working from here?  What are these symbols?  Why is Will the only one that can read them?  Why does he have magical powers?

I can seriously go on but you get the point.  This is the laziest writing I have seen in quite some time.  I love how even our main character knows so little about what is going on he seriously types in “light and dark” into Google.  Not only are those the most generic and worthless words to type into a google search engine, but your first 100 entries would still probably be interracial porn.

The rest of the movie works on the principle of pulling whatever plot devices out of your ass.  Will is in a dark cave?  Have him cast a fire spell?  Any indication before he could do that?  No, but do it anyway.  You would think a concept like the Seeker it would be kind of a National Treasure plot about finding clues and solving riddles.  Nope, Will just wanders aimlessly around and every 10 minutes or so he finds a symbol.  There are no riddles or clues at all; he just finds them by dumb luck.  Trying to type this out in a logical and clear manner is one of the harder things I’ve had to do and it shows I have put more thought into it than the actual writers.

The movie is just dull though.  Here is the movie in a nutshell:

Will’s Yoda like mentor Merriman (played by an embarrassed Ian McShane) tells Will he has a destiny and has to find the symbols, Will wanders around, Dr. Who shows up issues some empty threats then leaves, Will finds a token, Merriman says he has to work faster, Will wanders around, Dr. Who issues an empty threat session, Will finds a token, Will gets dejected because he isn’t finding the tokens fast enough, Merriman says he has faith in Will and he must get to work, Will wanders around, Dr. Who issues an empty threat, Will still doesn’t give a shit, Will finds another token and on and on and on and on.

The Rider is a more embarrassing villain than the chicken men of Krankor.  At least they tried actually doing something against Prince of Space.  You would think after giving Will 30 threats about killing his family if he does not give him the tokens, and Will shooting him down 30 times, he might eventually get the hint.  But no, let’s see if 31 is the lucky charm!  In a way I feel bad for Eccleston, who must have really thought his career was gonna take off after Who but has in fact pulled a David Caruso as I like to say.  Ian McShane also has nothing to work with, and I really wished he would call this kid a cocksucker at least once.

I usually like to give some kind of positive but I am coming up dry.  The writing of this movie is some of the laziest for a fantasy film, the plot is dull and repetitive, the action scenes are pathetic and short, the acting is poor to say the least, the music is unmemorable, and the special effects are lame.  Even if you are a fan of the books I hear this is one of the most unfaithful adaptations to come out.  Avoid at all costs.


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