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Review

Fantasy knock-off ‘The Seeker’ cheesy and predictable

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October 11, 2007

We are taught to recycle since kindergarten, and that reusing everything will keep the Earth happy. Maybe it would have been better if Hollywood had never gotten that memo. Since the universal success “Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter,” Hollywood has been on a fantasy kick of epic proportions, adapting any available fantasy book to film. At first it was kind of fun, but the novelty has worn off. Listen closely and you can even hear that poor fantasy horse being beaten to death. Enter “The Seeker.”

Set in modern England, “The Seeker” tells the tale of Will Stanton (Alexander Ludwig), a down on his luck high-school freshman too often overlooked by his over-sized family. But Will’s 14th birthday brings an end to all that when approached by the Old Ones, an ancient group of immortal warriors fighting for the Light.

They turn Will’s world upside down as they explain that the Earth is engulfed in an endless war between the Light and the Dark. The only way to stop the rising Dark is to collect the six fragments of Light and unite them against the evil, singularly personified by Christopher Eccleston. It just so happens that Will is the one chosen to find and unite those six pieces.

Sound familiar?  That’s because “The Seeker” doesn’t so much weave its own story as it does pull threads from many other fantasy yarns. It is one thing to pay homage to sources of inspiration, and it is another thing altogether to plagiarize them.

Parts written for the film become shallow shadows of more famous characters; two of Will’s older brothers just happen to resemble Fred and George Weasley, minus the charm and wit.

On a grander scale, the entire premise of the Light vs. the Dark feels too much like “Star Wars” for kiddies.

Crossing these copyrighted boundaries could almost be forgiven if it was done elegantly, but eloquence and style are not priorities high up on “The Seeker’s” list. In the place of character development and plot, the audience is assaulted with cheesy special effects and queasy camera work.

Everyone in the movie feels lethargic while delivering their dialogue from a ho-hum script. It is surprising that the actors can deliver some of the lines without laughing; it gets so corny at times.

Even Will’s so-called “powers” serve little purpose other than to throw a fiery temper-tantrum.

It doesn’t help the situation that it takes nearly half the film for it to finally take off. At a lean 100-minute run-time, the film can’t afford to waste 45 minutes establishing it’s main player as the seeker before diving into the thick of things. Two very serious consequences are spawned from this: the movie becomes overly boring, and the conflict of finding the missing pieces is so mashed together, it becomes trivialized.

The resulting mess of a movie is nothing more than another bland fantasy flick that gets lost in an endless sea of clichés. Too dark for kids and too stupid for adults, “The Seeker” is nothing more than recycled garbage.

Ken Weigend is an alumnus of UW-River Falls. He was editor of the Student Voice during spring semester 2010.