At the Quality 16 and Showcase

Watered down ‘Darkness’

Fox-Walden

“The Seeker: The Dark is Rising” is one of many interchangeable kids’ book adaptations released in the past year. This particular one is a contemporary “Lord of the Rings” for the junior high audience, in which Will (relative newcomer Alexander Ludwig), the youngest son of an American family living in England, is informed that he’s the last of a small sect dedicated to protecting the world from the forces of evil.

Yeah, as if we haven’t heard that one before. Between Voldemort and the Dark Lord Sauron, these bad guys don’t hold much salt, but there’s some impressive CGI razzle-dazzle and a cast of reliable character actors (including the bored-looking Ian McShane of “Deadwood,” probably swigging Martinis in between scenes) to hold us over.

Those who read the second installment of Susan Cooper’s popular book series “The Dark is Rising” will have a hard time recognizing this half-baked, low-I.Q. adaptation, but if you can throw out credulity and expectations, then you may have a decent time.

Brandon Conradis

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