I’m watching The Seeker and I have to share my pain, so I am live-blogging my critique.
1) Casting Ian McShane as Merriman is like casting Jonathan Taylor Thomas as Indiana Jones. So wrong.
2) Why is everyone American? In this so called British school? Why does Will have to be 14? What was wrong with 11? And who’s the guy on the scaffolding watching the ‘Stantons’?
3) Max is in art school, you blasphemers!
4) WTF? The guy on the scaffolding is George Dawson? They are HIGH!!! Also, apparently, he’s…Scottish? At least Northern somewhere. And John Smith isn’t a smith. In fact, it appears that there will be no discussion of the Old Ways or any background that might accidentally allude to British legend.
5) Where’s Annoying Sister Mary? Instead there’s someone named Gwen. Younger, not older. And a brunette.
6) Oh, Stephen’s on the webcam. Right. Oh, in Hawaii? Not, in fact, Jamaica. And I can’t help but notice he sent a belt instead of a fricking carnival head!
7) Overloading the crow imagery. But then, they took all the mythic resonance out, they had to have something.
8) Shopping Mall: Mysterious box with swirls? Shoplifting accusations? Dungeons? Are those guards…birdmen? This is certainly a radical departure from anything Susan Cooper wrote.
9) Will’s dad is a teacher? What was wrong with him being a jeweler?
10) What’s with the mysterious Celtic swirlies at Huntercombe Manor?
11) Betcha five bucks the Highschool Hottie takes the place of apple-cheeked Maggie, and is a vessel for the Dark.
12) Why is The Rider on a white horse? With black mastiffs?
13) Pretty good info-dump on why Will has to seek the signs. But where’s the Book of Gramarye? For that matter, where’s Hawkin?
14) Wait, he Googles Light and Dark? Oh, come on, people. And then he goes to his dad for advice? Because that’s what 14-year-old boys always do when confronted by supernatural uber-battles.
15) Whhaaa! The Rider is masquerading as a doctor? AND he’s Christopher Eccleston? If there was a drinking game wherein I drank for every time I saw something that appalled me, I would be on the floor by now.
16) Um. Will’s dead twin was…actually kidnapped, according to this tripe. I blame The Dark.
17) How come the Rider can come into church? Isn’t the sanctuary…well, a sanctuary? And how does he have a mother who is actually a crazy-mad snake lady?
18) The Lady is taking all too active a part. Where’s the ethereal? Where’s the Summer Queen? Oh. Right. They weren’t doing that. Now she’s a septuagenarian ninja
19) Bet: Five bucks says Will contains the Sixth Sign.
20) Wahey! Won five bucks: Highschool Hottie is in service to the Dark!
21) What’s with the midnight chat about his issues with Merriman? This Will Stanton is a totally different personality to Will in the book. And the setting the tree on fire? Yeah. Because the pyrotechnic budget wasn’t all used up.
22) Interesting step through time with little sister Gwen. This isn’t even embroidering on the book. It’s total fabrication and the adapters should call their mothers and confess their woeful inadequacies.
23) Wahaha! Rider possesses Max! And then 17th Century English Village cockfighting ensues. With Max still possessed! And Max dropped out of college! OMG! Why even say you’re adapting the book? Because…
24) Mr Stanton was working on some kind of Light and Dark Thesis? What was the point of that?
25) Manor crisis scene: Dramatic, but quite different from the book. Water indicates thaw, whereas the relentless cold imagery in the book is much more effective as ice and snow. Oooh, Highschool Hottie is named Maggie, as an homage to the book character. Way to be faithful scriptwriters!
26) Wait, what’s this? Will’s testing scene (at the beginning of the book) is now at the end of the movie? He hears his family’s voices and wavers? What’s this? He’s let the Rider in! The moron. OMG! And The Rider has Will’s twin brother! But here’s Merriman, going after the Rider with a mace! And The Rider consigns the twin to drowning! But then Old George comes out and he’s back in the fight!
27) Will makes a last stand against the Rider. SURPRISE! Five bucks for me, Will is the sixth sign. And surprise! The kidnapped twin gets to go home with Will!
Addendum notes: No Wild Hunt. No Arthur. No real ties to the book at all.
But not a bad movie. Generally speaking. For Hollywood’s blasphemous interpretation of this story, anyhow.