15 March 2009 | Joejoesan
No more than a bunch of beautiful pictures
The Dutch usually have a good reputation when it comes to kid's movies. Think Het paard van Sinterklaas, Knetter, Don, In Oranje, Mijn vader woont in Rio, Het zakmes, Kruistocht in spijkerbroek (and the list goes on and on). A good kid's movie is about characters with real and believable (kid) problems, no matter in what kind of unrealistic world they arrive.
The Seven of Daran is a very ambitious product. The seven not only relates to the seven holy animals that guard our earth, it also indicates that after this movie, The Battle for Pareo Rock, six more films will follow. Let's hope that won't happen.
This English spoken tale takes place in Africa. Jimmy is an 11 year old young white boy who's teased at school (because he is intelligent) and has a mother who puts too much time in her job. Yes, it becomes clear to us: Jimmy is a loner! One day when his mother forgets to pick him up from school he decides to walk home alone. In a market he frees a talking giraffe (the mystical Daran kind) who sets him on a mission to make sure a tribe war won't happen. Together with an African girl, Seraf, a dangerous journey begins.
When I think of the good things about this movie only one thing comes to mind: the locations. The movie was shot in Africa and that really pays of. Unfortunately, the list of bad things is much longer. This film is actually too predictable, dull and badly acted. Even film veteran Caroline Goodall can't offer more than some hysterical acting and Hannah Verboom has little more than a cameo. The computer giraffe looks fake but more importantly, the kids - our heros - really don't do anything heroic. They don't have a plan and hardly outwit their opponents.
A movie is as strong as its villains, they usually say. The stronger the bad guy, the more exciting it would be to see them fall. When it comes to villains this movie really fails. The two men who chase the kids must be bad and funny at the same time. And when I say funny, I mean slapstick funny - Laurel and Hardy school. And that's a big contrast compared to the seriousness of Jimmy's mission. He must stop a looming tribal war, which can be a real bloodbath when you look at the guns they will use. We even see kids with guns!
To my amazement The Seven of Daran is rated 7+ at the IMDb. I think that's pretty unbelievable. Strangely, I didn't see any user comments either, so with this one potential buyers of the DVD can make up their mind. The Seven of Daran is not a bad film. But if it wasn't shot in Africa nobody probably would have cared.