The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007) (part 11 of 14)
At that moment, Will looks up and… tadaa! The Wheel of Taranis suddenly appears in the sky! And, actually, the effect is pretty cool. He quickly grabs Gwen, and then they both do the Time-Travel Spin. I force myself not to sing “The Time Warp”, and find out they’ve ended up in ancient times, in the middle of a minor skirmish between pre-medieval warriors (Celtic music helpfully plays to give us a hint as to the time period). This scene is pretty neat; a bunch of warriors are raiding a village, and there’s people running everywhere, hacking each other up with axes. Will and a freaking-out Gwen run for shelter in what looks like a picnic shelter (what? That’s what it looks like!), where Gwen spots a kitten mewling pathetically and runs over to pick it up. Awww. Wait, what the hell does this have to do with anything?
Will, dragging her to safety, sees a guy fighting nearby, and the Wheel of Taranis is wafting out of his shield. Great, how is he going to get it off him? Moments later the guy is killed, and the big bearded brute who did him in grabs the shield. Will goes haring after him, while the guy, like any self-respecting Celtic warrior would do, hauls a screaming woman into his boat along with the rest of his booty. While he’s distracted, Will hops on the boat and picks up the shield. Unfortunately, at this point the kitten lets loose with the dubbed-in mewing of a much older cat, while not opening its mouth to do so, and the warrior turns around and sees him. He picks Will up and hurls him bodily out of the boat and into the water—hilariously, Will flies up in an obviously-wires-assisted fashion, turning upside down (in slo-mo) before he hits the water. I think he needed a good soaking, actually. This is accompanied by jaunty Celtic violin music, just to make it easier to laugh at.
With the annoying pest out of the way, the warrior then notices Gwen, who like all movie women starts screaming and freaking out (well, okay, you couldn’t really expect her to do much else in this situation). Will bravely (well not really), swims over, yelling at the guy to leave her alone. The warrior happily grabs him and hauls him out of the water in order to finish the job, but at this moment Will’s fancy watch starts beeping. The warrior stares at it, mesmerised, and Will, grinning like a moron, tells him he can have it in return for the shield. The warrior doesn’t speak English and promptly buries his axe in Will’s skull.
Okay, okay, I’ll stop thinking logically. The warrior takes the watch and peers at it, making some ridiculous caveman noises [?] while Will climbs out of the water and pulls himself over to the shield. Sure enough, the Sign appears out of the middle of the shield, where there’s a hole (for some reason, there appear to be roots around the hole, which contract and push the Sign out like the shield is giving birth). Will picks it up, hoarsely proclaiming that he’s “got it.” As his hand closes around it, we do the Time Warp again and hey presto, he and Gwen are back in the present. Yes, it was just that easy. It seems Will doesn’t so much seek the Signs as just stumble across them while he’s bumbling around the place, whining about how tough his life is.
He arrives back in his own time just as Merriman comes running up in a rage. He hastily sends Gwen home, telling her not to spill the beans about what just happened (as if anyone would listen, or believe a word of it—kid sisters talking about magical trips to strange places are rarely considered reliable witnesses). She trots off, and Merriman arrives and lets loose with some good old-fashioned pissed-off mentor yelling, about how Will exhausted his powers and could have been killed, yadda yadda yadda. Will’s ego rises up like the Loch Ness Monster emerging from its lair, and he sneers back that he got the Sign without any help and they, i.e., the Old Ones, didn’t do a damn thing. Which is true, but he’s still being a dickwad. Merriman tells him he’s been selfish and irresponsible, which is also true, adding (yet again) that Will is the only hope for the world, etc. Gods, I’m so bored with hearing that. Will just snaps back that he’s aware of that (you and me both, kid), and then stomps off. Merriman has a sudden change of heart, and tries to apologise, telling Will that if he wants to express himself, go right ahead.
This leads to an utterly hilarious moment that would be more at home in a situation comedy, where Will’s expression of his innermost feelings goes pretty much like this:
Merriman: [giving him a look] Is that it?
Wait, are you sure this isn’t a comedy? Will shuffles a bit and says “well, yeah,” and then Merriman, sounding rather embarrassed, says that, according to Miss Greythorne, this sort of thing is “natural for someone your age.” That’s funny, I don’t remember being a self-centered raging asshole when I was a teenager. Wait… never mind.
Will asks “what if I can’t do this?” Well, you seemed pretty confident a moment ago. Merriman basically tells him that if you have faith all your dreams will come true, and that with great power comes great responsibility, and Will leaves with his sister (who’s watched the entire exchange, but doesn’t ask any questions—in fact, she never says anything about the whole trip-through-time thing at all, which is rather puzzling. Maybe there was a deleted scene).
Anyway, then it’s back to the shelter on the bridge, where we see the rider just suddenly fade into existence. I didn’t know he could do that. He’s here for another meeting with Mysterious Stranger Maggie, where he pretty much repeats everything he said last time, adding that he’s got other people working for him besides her (yeah, that would be Max and a lot of crows). Mysterious Stranger Maggie leaves without a word (can’t the forces of Dark just use a mobile phone or something?), and once she’s gone the horse rears up and does that freaky horse-scream horses do while the rider announces to no-one in particular that now the Seeker is going to “feel my wrath”! Well, I’d like him to feel the business end of my boot up his backside, but sometimes all we can do is dream. The horse gallops off, and a wall of mist, filled with crows, rushes toward the camera.
The crows fly through the village and then dissolve into a big cloud of snow, and a blizzard begins. Merriman and Miss Greythorne watch, and Miss Greythorne sagely notes that their Seeker doesn’t have much time left. Ah, don’t worry, I’m sure he’ll trip over the next Sign while he’s sobbing over the next girl he falls deeply in love with by staring at her for ten solid minutes.
The blizzard gets worse, and we see people out in the street struggling to get to shelter. Trees blow down, and then—oh boy! I nearly forgot about this!—and then we see a big round container of bouncy-balls fall over outside a shop, scattering brightly-coloured balls everywhere. Out in the street, cars slowly crawl along, the drivers straining to see through the whiteness. A lamp-post falls onto someone’s bonnet, scattering broken glass everywhere. And then we cut to… those brightly-coloured balls, bouncing down the snow-covered street. In slow-motion. While dramatic music plays.
A shopping trolley is lifted up by the sheer power of the wind, and hurled through a shop window (in slo-mo). Shelves break, and debris goes flying everywhere. Then we cut back to the bouncy-balls, all bright and cheerful and bouncing along like they’ve just come out of an ad for Sony Bravia TVs.
A satellite dish is torn off a roof and goes hurtling down the snow-covered tiles.
And then we cut back to the bouncy-balls, rolling to a stop.
Then we see the rider again, probably grinning behind his mask as he beholds his evil creation.
You know, I’m trying really hard to think of something witty to say about that sequence, but words keep failing me. I think that, perhaps, this time I’ll take the “less is more” approach and just let it stand on its own. Because, really, any attempt to make it seem more comical would just detract from the effect it already has. I love this movie.
Will and Max are struggling through the snow that night, heading for the supermarket, but there’s a sign on the door saying “CLOSED: NO FOOD!” Will peers through the window, and helpfully yells, “They’re out of food! There’s none left!” Wow, this kid really got the brains in the family, didn’t he? Anyway, they’re just going to have to make due with whatever Mom has in the freezer, so Will starts to leave. Max, however, doesn’t move. Will asks him what’s up.
Max has turned weird. He tells Will he’s going to keep his room for “more than a couple of weeks.” Will says whatever, and starts to walk off, only to be grabbed by Weird Max, who suddenly starts speaking with Christopher Eccleston’s (poorly dubbed-in) voice. He claims that Will says nasty things about him behind his back and tries to turn everyone against him. Naaah, he wouldn’t do that, Max! He’s the nice kid in the family, remember (ye gods, I hate to think what would have happened if one of the other kids had been given mystical powers instead). Will demands to know what’s going on, and riderMax says, “You’ve got issues, Will.” Okay, that’s officially my absolute favourite line in this movie.
“You want to sort them out?” he adds. Personally, I think it would take the world’s best psychiatrists a month of Sundays to sort this kid out, but if by “sort them out” you mean “give you a good arse-kicking,” then I’m all for it.
Will, with typical good manners, isn’t paying attention, because a nearby bell has suddenly started to toll on its own. As it swings in its holder, he sees the Wheel of Taranis glowing around its rim. Time Warp time!