Posted on February 5, 2015 at 5:41 pmB-
|Lowest Recommended Age:
|Rated PG-13 for intense fantasy violence and action throughout, frightening images and brief strong language
|One strong word
|Constant fantasy-style violence and peril with dragons, knights, swords, fire, falls, punches, and sorcery, characters injured and killed, some grisly images
|Most of the good guys are white and many of the bad guys are non-white
|Date Released to Theaters:
|February 6, 2015
If “The Big Lebowski” fans ever imagined a re-teaming of Jeff “The Dude” Bridges and Julianne “Maude” Moore, it is unlikely that they would have come up with the idea of this sword-and-sorcery epic based on the first of the the 16-volume Last Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney. They’re a long way from Lebowski-land in this epic saga of the last of the knights sworn to fight witches and the powerful witch he once loved and must now defeat. The fight scenes are exciting, the visuals and special effects are impressive, and it is fun to see two big actors take on these scenery-chomping roles.
It takes place in olden times, “when legend and nightmare are real.” Bridges, in full sensei whose bark is worse than his bite but his bite is pretty rough mode, plays Gregory, the last of “a order of noble knights, combatting the darker forces.” He has had a series of apprentices, but it is a high risk job, and they keep getting killed. Most recently, following a rollicking bar fight involving a full goblet (“The trick is not defeating them with a cup. The trick is not to spill.”), Master Gregory loses his best apprentice (Kit Harington) and has to find a new one. They are not easy to find. Only a seventh son of a seventh son has the ability to combat magic. Tom Ward (Ben Barnes) has that credential, but does he have what it takes? He cannot seem to hit the target with his knife. Master Gregory usually has years to teach his apprentices what they need to know but this time there is just a week until the blood moon, which will unleash the powers of the most dangerous witch of all, Mother Malkin (Moore, decked out with fancy eyelashes and creepy long fingernails). Years before, Master Gregory had captured Malkin, locking her in a cage and sprinkling the perimeter with salt. But she has escaped, stronger than ever, and this time he cannot risk showing her mercy and allowing her to live.
It is possible that Tom has already made the same mistake. If she was not so young and pretty, would he have rescued the girl accused of being a witch and set her free? Her name is Alice (Alicia Vikander). Does she like him or is she a spy? Meanwhile, Mother Malkin is putting the band back together, bringing in a Benetton ad array of multi-ethnic bad guys. There are also some other fantasy characters who show up to the party, including Master Gregory’s loyal sidekick Tusk, with a jaw like a wild boar, and a gigantic CGI Boggart, who chases our heroes into the steepest jump off a cliff into the rapids since “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” And this one’s in 3D.
Parents should know that this film includes constant fantasy-style peril and violence with monsters, fire, swords and other weapons, sorcery, and fighting, characters injured and killed, some disturbing and grisly images, brief strong language, drinking and jokes about alcohol, and kissing and an implied sexual situation.
Family discussion: What did it mean to call Mother Malkin “a slave to darkness, not its queen?” Was Master Gregory too tough on Tom?
If you like this, try: “Dragonslayer,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and “Stardust”