Sep 16, 2007
The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007) (part 14 of 14)
I guess the screenwriter also decided to cut-and-paste the rider’s favourite line, because, for the billionth time, he tells Will to give him the Signs. I’ve got an idea: why don’t you just take them? Will predictably says no, and the rider “ominously” says “then your time is at an end.” Suddenly he’s on his horse again, and he uses the good old slow-down-speed-up thing to menace Will. Unfortunately, while he’s wasting time doing this, Merriman attacks. And I swear, I thought the bouncy balls were comical, but now we’re seeing a middle-aged, stocky bearded guy in an overcoat leaping through the air like a pouncing jaguar, bellowing ferociously and waving a morningstar (I have got to get me one of those). He tries to strangle the rider with the chain, only to be hurled away, straight upward, and be swallowed by the big cloud of black mist that’s hanging around up there. Next Miss Greythorne (still in her old lady clothes, mark you) attacks with a sword, only to suffer the same fate. The Perv doesn’t seem to be there. I’ve got another idea, guys: why not attack at the same time?
The rider retaliates by hurling away the snow globe (who on earth thought the snow globes were a good idea? And can I have some of whatever they were having?), which bounces across the floor and falls down some stairs, where it lands in a pool of water and sinks, with Tom still inside. Nuuuuu!
Then the last remaining Perv suddenly appears, rising out of the water, and attacks, with predictable results. With him out of the way, the rider (now off his horse again—the damn thing appears and disappears just like the one Eragon rode!) tells Will that without the sixth Sign, he’s no match for him. Then he finally gets down to business, and throws him into the mist with the rest of them. Will goes spinning off into the blackness, and I fight down a terrible urge to yell “Zeppelin ruuuuuules!” Now the rider has finally rid himself of those pathetic excuses for enemies, he suddenly is back on his horse and rides away, crowing his victory.
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Meanwhile Will is hurtling through the Dark, when all of a sudden he hears Obi-Wan Kenobi’s ghostly voice, telling him to use the Force. No, wait, it’s way lamer than that: he hears Merriman telling him that “I believe in you.”
And then, for absolutely no reason, the Signs suddenly start to glow. And then Will’s eye glows in just the same way. And then he bursts into flame. Oh, fine, I’ll stop doing that. No, what really happens is that he suddenly realises that he himself is the last Sign (well duh). This flat little surprise suddenly unleashes even more incredible powers, and he halts his progress through the Dark by… uh, jerking his hands. Then he goes rushing back the way he came, while Don Davis ripoff music plays (you are the One, Neo!). Back in Merathgadan, the rider sees a great light shining, and inside it is a silhouette coming toward him. It’s Will. He’s got an inspirational monologue, and he’s not afraid to use it!
“I am Will Stanton,” he says, wearing that idiotic grin yet again. The rider looks uncertain. “The seventh son of a seventh son,” Will continues. The horse starts to freak out. “I’ve read the book,” says Will. If only the screenwriter had too. The horse freaks out some more, and the rider falls off. Ouch. “I have walked through time,” Will adds. “I have found the Signs. The sixth could not be found, because it was not hidden from me. I am the sixth Sign! And I have restored… the power… of the Light!” (William Shatner, is that you?).
For some reason, the rider looks completely terrified at this statement. But he pulls himself together and does a melodramatic hand-gesture which hurls more black mist at Will. But Will just sticks his hand out, and the mist stops an inch from him and starts boiling away. Neo, that is you! Finally, the mist (which I suppose is meant to be the Dark) is sucked toward his hand until it’s all gone, and he’s left holding his very own commemorative Christopher Eccleston snow globe.
No, I did not make that up, okay? Shut up! Do I look that disturbed?
Don’t answer that.
Will smirks at the captured rider and then “accidentally” drops the snow globe, which falls into the same pool where Tom’s one went. Poor rider. Vanquished by an inspirational soliloquy and a special effect stolen from the Wachowski brothers.
Anyway, this somehow makes light come back to Merathgadan, and while Will stands there looking messianic Merriman and the rest of the Old Ones reappear. Will asks Merriman if it’s “over.” Merriman says it’ll never be over (yes it will. Trust me on this), but “today is a good day” (no it isn’t. Wait, I’m minutes away from finishing the recap. Yes, it is!). Oh, and it looks like George the Perv has somehow been resurrected. Okay.
Will says he wants to go home, but wait—Miss Greythorne has someone who wants to go with him.
Tom, who’s also played by Alexander Ludwig, has long hair and is wearing a red scarf just like Maggie’s. I have no idea if that detail is meant to be symbolic. Will “tearfully” says that there are some people he wants him to meet, and Tom just grins at him (guess they didn’t want to pay Ludwig for two speaking roles). As they start to walk off, Merriman calls out to Will, saying “you did a good job.” And he’s the only one. The Pervs grin pervily at him, and Will finally grins back (looks like a couple of creepy old men are going to get lucky tonight!). Then he leaves. Once he’s gone, Miss Greythorne “amusingly” says that Will might have “shown some appreciation” given all they’ve done for him. Well, being told “you are the Seeker” ninety-seven times looks like it did the trick, so I guess she’s right. Merriman breaks out the good old “repeat someone’s disparaging comment back to them at an appropriate moment” by telling her that he’s fourteen and that’s “a difficult age.” Harhar.
Anyway, Will and Tom leave Merathgadan together. Outside, it’s a beautiful clear day and everything is bright and happy and lah-de-dah. We get an odd shot of those Wheel of Taranis decorations on the bridge again, and then Will and Tom, together at last, run up the steps to the Stanton home (ah, some more slo-mo for the road). Mom looks out the window and stares in disbelief, along with Dad, and then Will and Tom go inside to a joyful reunion, and I guess people will be nice to Will now so everything will be so much better for him and all’s well that ends. And no awkward questions will be asked about how Will somehow found his long-lost twin brother just wandering around somewhere on a different continent than the one where he originally went missing, because that would be too boring. And would make too much sense.
Roll credits. Exit theatre in tears.
Well… so that’s that, I guess. A truly ridiculous movie. As with Eragon, it’s much more enjoyable when you’re not thinking very hard about it, so don’t think that watching it will make your eyeballs implode. Analysing it, though, hurts bad.
I’m thinking some people are curious about the book, so I’ll provide some more info here. Basically, in the book, Will is a mild-mannered eleven-year-old who lives in the country (and always has). He’s got a loving family, but is a bit of a loner. We don’t hear anything about him going to school, so maybe he’s home-schooled. Anyway, on his eleventh birthday weird things start happening and he’s eventually approached by some of the locals, who tell him he’s the Seeker and that he has to find the Signs. However, as in the movie, Will doesn’t actually go looking for them—he just kind of stumbles across them, and most of the time the Old Ones help him do it. He also gets a bunch of neat powers (like the power to make things burst into flame, which he abuses but then pays for when it attracts evil guys), which he never uses for anything much. The time-travel aspect is underplayed and not really that important to the plot. In the book, whenever someone turns evil and tries to get the Signs, they reveal their true colours after one paragraph and are instantly dispatched (after the second time that happened, it became a bit farcical).
The Old Ones behave in rather strange ways, for instance in the scene where Merriman seriously betrays some guy (and the narrative helpfully tells us he’s done that and then tells us exactly what the guy is thinking, several times in a row with different wordings, which I don’t find to be an example of great writing), and then calmly tells us the guy is now going to turn evil and doesn’t do a damn thing to stop him from doing exactly that. The guy ends up wandering in misery and insanity through time for hundreds of years, until Merriman finally tracks him down and basically says “okay, that’s enough; you can die now,” which the guy does. Somehow, I didn’t find that to be very heroic behaviour, but the author didn’t seem that interested in developing her characters anyway.
Anyway, in the end Will finds all the Signs and puts them on his belt, but doesn’t use them for anything. Then he finds a huge weird mask which he and the Old Ones take to a big oak tree somewhere (if I remember correctly), where it somehow summons up Herne the Hunter (an ancient god of the hunt and the chase), who puts it on, gets on his horse and destroys the rider. This part of the plot was just suddenly dumped into the book without any warning, and it came off as if the author had run out of ideas and decided to just throw it in for the heck of it. The result was that Will never used his powers, finding the Signs was utterly pointless, plus the book ended with a huge anticlimax. Now that’s classic literature. Maybe Rowling wasn’t as original, but at least Harry Potter was actually a hero.
Anyway, that’s enough griping from me. See you next time, kids!