The Dark Is Rising
"I'm supposed to save the world? I can't even talk to a girl." Living in London with his American family, 14-year-old Will Stanton (Ludwig) is living the normal life of a teenager: fancies a girl but can't pluck up the courage to talk to her, annoying older brothers, distant father - the usual. However, Will is anything but normal as Merriman Lyon (McShane) hastens to tell him: he is in fact The Seeker, one of the last immortal Warriors of Light (and there was me thinking it was Pete Townshend). The Seeker must find six 'signs' that are scattered throughout time, and defeat the forces of Dark, led by The Rider (Eccleston). If it sounds like a Buffy-meets-Harry Potter rip-off, you'd be right - but as rip-offs go, it's not half bad. Adapted from Susan Cooper's novel, The Dark Is Rising is another kiddie movie that refuses to talk down to its audience (remember The Last Mimzy and Bridge To Terabithia?) and has a style not usually seen in fantasies geared towards youngsters. Cunningham delivers some nice touches throughout and isn't afraid to creep out the kids with some dark scenes (the one involving snakes can be a bit much). The movie disappoints when the long-winded speeches slow up the action, the glaring plot holes become too large to ignore and the acting, which is at times below par. However, the long-winded speeches are a necessary evil, the plot holes are a result of condensing the book's plot into 94 minutes, while Ludwig, who does a great job as the hero, is let down by his elder counterparts (maybe it was hard to say those bizarre lines with a straight face). The Dark Is Rising should entertain the younger viewers until The Half-Blood Prince arrives next year.
Watch: The Dark Is Rising
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