The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007) (part 8 of 14)
Of course, none of the Old Ones are bright enough to figure it out themselves, because the Script Says So. Instead, they listen as Will reads on and reveals that the Signs are scattered through time (hey, just like The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages! I love that game!). So it looks like he’ll have to do some time-travelling to find them all (man, time travel in a movie involving Christpher Eccleston—however did they manage that one?). And you’d think that would make an exciting movie, but, well, you’re wrong.
Will finishes reading (that book looks awfully thick to be over so soon), and takes the box out of his pocket. “Look at this pattern,” he says. “It’s a fractal! It’s physics! I know, my Dad teaches this stuff!” Look, Movie, just give up. Please. It’s not working. He gives us some nonsense about how it “goes on forever,” and Merriman says it’s “a clue hidden in plain sight!” Argh. Let’s just cut to the chase: when you see the Wheel of Taranis, it means there’s a Sign in the neighbourhood. Got that? Great. Should simplify things. Maybe once he’s done with the signs he can help track down those pesky horcruxes.
Will borrows a hammer from one of the Perv Patrol (no idea why he had that), takes the necklace out of the box and shatters it. And inside… is the First Sign! Which basically looks like a Celtic Cross with the long part cut off, and glows when Will holds it up to the window. Meanwhile I’m busy taking in the looks on the faces of the Old Ones, which range from constipated to slightly bored (and in the case of one of the Pervs, rather, well, pervish). Miss Greythorne helpfully (and blandly) identifies it as “the Sign of Stone.” Er, okay. If you say so. The Perv even less helpfully adds that there’s five more to go.
Then Merriman takes over. “You are the seventh son of a seventh son,” he says, presumably for the sake of the movie trailer. “You are the Seeker.” I’m afraid that, if my memory doesn’t fail me, he spends a good chunk of the rest of the movie mindlessly repeating that bit of information. Will, for his part, just gives him a look like he’s trying to impersonate a jug-eared goldfish. Glad to have you on the team, Will.
Next up, they head for the mansion for some more Merriman-style lecturing. Now they’re done with all the tedious buildup, it’s time for some exposition. Which takes way more time than it should given how simple the concept really is. Merriman says that the other Signs will be harder to find (no they won’t), and that the rider also wants them and may try to trick or threaten his way into getting them. Well, we’ve seen threats. Next up will be the trickery (and just wait and see how fiendishly cunning that will be).
Will wants to know how he’s going to fight, and Merriman tells him he has powers—he can summon light and fire, and command “great strength.” Which he can use to throw his obnoxious siblings across the room and break windows. Whee.
“Can I fly?” says Will.
(I love this line because it reminds me of a scene in the underrated series Now and Again, where a guy wakes up from a fatal accident to find his mind has been rescued and installed in a government-made, genetically engineered body. He’s told he’s stronger, faster, etc., so he asks the same question Will did. The badass government agent blandly responds by listing all the scientific achievements involved in creating his new body and adds, “Now I mention all that because, and I’m embarrassed to admit it, that in the midst of all those surgeries, all those implant procedures, all the beta trials, tests, failures and successes… it just never occurred to any of us to shove a rocket up your ass.” This film desperately needs someone with that kind of perspective.)
Merriman just looks blankly at him and says “whut?” (phoenetic spelling). Will repeats the question, helpfully providing a little hand-gesture complete with a “whooshing” noise. I’d say something on the lines of “why is this moron the one who gets to save the world?” but by now I’m sort of used to the saviour of the world being an idiot. Miss Greythorne tells him no, and then she and Merriman abruptly just leave. Aren’t they helpful.
Back home, Will picks up the awesome belt his brother gave him. As I predicted, he figures out that the criss-crossing leather thongs on it could be useful, and puts the Sign into one of them (man, talk about a convenient present to get). Then he puts it around his waist, and thus a mighty quest beg… hahahah. Sorry, couldn’t get the rest of that out.
Next day everybody is at church, and we get yet another queasy camera thing where the thing starts out at ninety degrees and then swoops downward as it straightens out. I really wish they’d stop doing that. It’s making me feel ill.
Will enters, sullenly noting James sitting next to Cute Chick while they make eyes at each other. I’d almost forgotten she was in the movie. He heads up the front and sits next to Mom and Dad, while the Perv Patrol come in. The riderdoctor also shows up and sits behind them, accompanied by an old lady who he introduces to Will and parents as his mother. Then the vicar tells everyone to get up and sing “Joy to the World.” This scene is actually rather interesting; we pan back and watch the riderdoctor cheerfully singing along, while Merriman, behind him, doesn’t appear to be singing at all. Neither does Will for that matter (actually, when I was forced to go to the service every week at my old school, I never sang either. I just sat up the back and made heretical comments during the sermon). Still, it’s vaguely amusing to see the “bad guy” singing along while the “good guys” just stand there in sullen silence. I guess evil is just better at pretending to enjoy this sort of thing (c’mon, even believers think church is boring).
Luckily Will has something to distract him. He looks up at one of the stained glass windows, and—the Wheel of Taranis is right there, doing the swirly thing! *gasp!* I’m not sure why, but it makes a noise like clockwork. Or maybe that’s just the wheels grinding in Will’s brain.
We cut back to him gawping at it. Yep, it’s his brain. Then we get a weird effect where the camera does a Matrix-spin around him and the church suddenly goes dark. The singing becomes muted. Then we do the spin again, and Will and the Old Ones are alone, so I guess they just travelled through time or something. Merriman confirms this when asked, explaining that Will sensed a Sign and moved them all through time, apparently without meaning to. Good thing the riderdoctor didn’t get scooped up too. Merriman adds that they’re in the thirteenth or fourteenth century, which doesn’t actually mean anything much.
Okay, gang, prepare yourselves. Now the boring stuff is out of the way (more or less), it’s time for the movie to kick into high gear. And trust me, it was worth it.