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Movie Review: Season Of The Witch

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Prinz Lee wrote this review 5 years ago

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Happy New Year, everyone! Another year crept its way back into our lives, and did it ever so smoothly. Therefore, wishing you all well and here’s to another year of Hollywood egos running around displaying their “talents.” Okay, so as I take off on this year’s reviews, I can honestly say this one will not be making any lists come December. This had to be one of the dullest films I think I’ll see this year, and after reading up on it, I understand why releasing this was a bit iffy. Eventually it had to hit the theaters, it’s here, and this is most definitely an acquired taste. I can see all sorts of geeks or nerds who enjoy and replicate this kind of lifestyle loving it, but anyone with half a brain will know this is a complete tax write-off. Watch it and you’ll see what I’m taking about!

It’s beyond me who in their right mind would think this film would have any kind of relevant substance. With challenges regarding its official release date set in late 2010, it seemed like there wasn’t much confidence from the studio considering tougher films to compete with like all the animated ones along with the seventh (7th) installment of the Harry Potter franchise. Pushing it back to January, 2011 when practically nothing else is opening – with the exception of that nauseating Country Strong - spoke volumes on the studio’s level of confidence. It’s not safe enough anymore to promote Nicolas Cage as your star, and while I’m speaking of Nicolas Cage, I can’t see him having accepted such a role other than a purposefully take-the-money-and-run to keep him fighting off bankruptcy. Damn! What happened to that Leaving Las Vegas Academy Award Winning actor? Remember him? Don’t misread anything I’m saying, because I find him to be one of Hollywood’s talented, but it amazes me how high one can be today, and then roll down a steep hill of spending sprees, then landing on loads of shit!

Like Kick Ass (2010), The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010), or even having signed on for the 2012 sequel release to one of MARVEL’S failures, Ghost Rider, Season of the witch is not the type of film I ever pictured Cage in, but during times where studios rather tap other actors with relevant roles, I guess there’s no other choice.

I’m not sure how this film will hold at the box-office, but truth is this film was a complete waste of an hour and thirty minutes for me. Riddled with a mish-mash of religious bullshit, the characters are utterly boring, and lining it up with lazy performances, the visual effects are mediocre, and direction displays something between cheap K-Mart basement swords-and-shields blended with a little of videogame-like attitude, which felt like a week long stomach virus.

Behmen (Nicolas Cage) is a 14th century Crusader who has recently returned home with his comrade, Felson (Ron Perlman), to find it overtaken by the terrible Black Plague. The Catholic church, strongly in belief that the plague has been caused by a witch, Anna (Claire Foy), order the pair to escort her, a knight, a rowdy but tough criminal, and a priest, to a secluded monastery, where they will extract the evil from her – no doubt causing her death – in order to apparently end the plague. Behmen, unconvinced of her guilt (of course), however, will only see her dead if the charges against her are true, and despite some unexplained events going on – seemingly caused by her – he can’t escape the thought that something far more sinister is at play.

Nicolas Cage has made a slew of bad movies in his years – the majority of his worst being in the last decade, no doubt – yet even his most criminal duds such as the dreadful The Wicker Man remake and Bangkok Dangerous were stamped with miniscule unintentional humour, saved by Cage’s apparently purposefully over-the-top performance in each. Unfortanetly there’s no such luck in Season of the Witch, a film which has unsurprisingly been crippled on a studio shelf. Cage’s drowsy performance – ridiculous hairpiece aside – adds little to the film, holding its hallow plot in a curiously high, self-serious esteem, sucking almost every element of entertainment value out like a porn girl on a cock! To be honest, there is one mildly uplifting line in Sena’s film which made the group of scarcely awake critics in my screening room wake up and deliver their solitary enjoyment, in a light chuckle - “We’re going to need more holy water” – providing one of the film’s few instances of miniscule entertainment. What rolls on from there is spent trying not to wobble through a mind-numbing predictable supernatural plot, featuring direction ugly enough that it isn’t hard to imagine it came from the same person who brought us that other sleeping pill, Whiteout (2009).



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