Jeff Bridges is the last warrior of a mystical order, so a valuable man to have around when you want to have something miraculous done. Battered by life and somehow forlorn, we first meet him in a rough tavern, in an alcoholic, dejected state. Reluctantly he agrees to do some wonder-working, performing an exorcism on a young girl.

Actually, he gets very perfunctory thanks from the parents, who depart quickly indeed with the newly-cleansed daughter. Clearly, bad manners were a feature even in the Dark Ages, or whatever vague period of the primeval past this movie is set in. The folks should at least have invited him to the nearest takeaway for a slap-up meal, as he seems to eat only occasionally, and when he does, he eats ravenously.

Anyway, Bridges' mystical warrior goes in search of a seventh son of a seventh son, finds a young farmhand who is one (played by Ben Barnes) and trains him in the art of self-defence in readiness for the big bad world out there. It's a cavernous, darkly-forested place of sheer cliffs and dangerous waterfalls, which afford some rather good 3-D thrills, for Seventh Son is such a viewing experience.

It is also a place of fearsome wraiths and brontosaurus-like creatures who wake up with hangovers and go very crazy indeed. Typically, the ground suddenly heaves and a huge scaly and none-too-accommodating feller crawls out of the earth.

Thus Bridges and Barnes' characters experience all sorts of death-defying adventures in their campaign to wipe out the witch queen played by Julianne Moore. There is a history between the Bridges and Moore characters, but one doesn't want to spoil.

The survival of various parties begins to hinge on the possessor of, yes, you guessed, a precious stone with incredible powers, which gets tossed around a fair bit in various violent encounters.

Seventh Son is a watchable movie, but it is too long at 120 minutes. Plus, Bridges distorts his voice into something that sounds like a gruff version of a generic Hollywood Santy Claus. The enunciation is often incomprehensible and you wonder in fact if he even has teeth. By being the complete opposite, it just reminds one of the magisterial Richard Harris. Harris had a similar, frail and ageing hero role in Gladiator. But he spoke in his own carefully-elocuted accent, which is always a good idea.

Paddy Kehoe