An abominable adaptation of a decent book series, and painful film to watch.
There are so many things wrong with this film that I can't possibly remember them all but if you're a fan of Joseph Delaneys Spook's Apprentice series, you probably do NOT want to watch this film.
With that being said, let's talk about the film. I think this film is pretty much evidence that you shouldn't watch films with unknown actors in it. Sure Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore are famous but even they can't save this film. Jeff Bridges in particular was painful to watch. I'm not sure if it's intentional or not but his character mumbles a lot and has the emotional range of a turnip.
Meanwhile, they took a fairly decent plot with Spook's Apprentice and butchered it. BUTCHERED it. It's like they just added random shit for no reason. Oh the seventh son now has visions? Sure, why not. Not like they EVER help him in any form or way. Oh, the witches and warlocks can now transform into various animals and a frigging dinosaur? Sure, why not. Htf did the original spooks fight a magic-wielding dinosaur?? Use church bells to summon the spooks? How does this even work over long distances?? The apprentice falls into the river and it's not known if he survives? Never mind, Jeff Bridges character will just sit on a cliff and meditate until the apprentice somehow finds him. And let's not even go into the love story they just jammed into the film. That was painful to watch. It goes from hey, let me save you despite the fact you're a witch to "let's bang" in the 2nd meeting. Even Bioware romances are less hasty.
Sure, there are a lot of special effects and then at the end, there's a big fight at the end where all the witches die. But basically, if you want special effects and big fight scenes with witches, I'd watch Hansel and Gretel because that movie is at least enjoyable. Overall rating for this film? 0/10.
For those who didn't read the books, I'm just going to go into a few differences with the book. In the series, the Spook isn't a drunkard or an asshole like Jeff Bridges character is. Instead, he's a bit of a straight man, honest and hardworking and doing his best to live his life by a strict moral code. Unfortunately, that strict moral code can make him pretty unforgiving at times. However, that still makes him a better character. The apprentice isn't 20 or whatever age he's supposed to be in this film. Instead, he's 12 and he's just starting out as an apprentice and you see his slow climb to power. His most meaningful feat in the book is that he goes to save a baby from being eaten by witches and he does that by running in, saving the baby and running out. Alice is actually USEFUL in the books instead of the goddamn tart that she is in the film. She does stuff to help Thomas Ward but in the film, she basically does NOTHING. She also doesn't magically fall in love with Thomas but they do start out as friends because Thomas helped her escape her abusive aunt-witch.
They could have made this series the next Harry Potter and started out with the main character as a child but for some reason, they decided to butcher it. Good job Legendary studios.