#17 The Wicker Man

#17 The Wicker Man
Year: 2006
Director: Neil LaBute
MPAA Rating:  PG-13 
Epic Co-stars: 
Running Time: 102 mins.
Cage Time: 98%
Cage Kills: 0
Cage Flip-outs: 6
Skyler's Review: To be completely honest, I was not really looking forward to watching The Wicker Man starring Nicolas Cage. I mean, I was and I wasn't. Like any other person that claims to know anything at all about Nic Cage, I've seen the highlights reel to the Wicker Man. If this is your first time investigating Cage's work here is the video: (FYI, spoilers!)

So I knew that there would be at least 2:08 of over-the-top-dramatic thriller in store for me, but from what I had read in the YouTube comments I was worried about the other 1:43:52. Everyone was saying that the first 90 minutes drags on; and makes the last bit of the movie not even worth it. I wholeheartedly disagree. Maybe I'm in the 27% of people on rottentomatoes.com that actually liked it, but 75% of our group really liked it. 100% of us were engaged the entire movie.

Not the bees!
So here is the plot: an over-righteous, arrogant, Jimmy Stewarty police detective (Cage) ends up investigating the kidnapping, or possible murder, of a little girl in a isolated island community. There seems to be only women on this island, so having this masculine man in a suit on the island snooping around like he owns the place makes you feel awkward; Cage's character can't seem to read their culture and behave appropriately. (It is this "I'm a man, I do/say what I want" kind of attitude that kept us entertained during the film) As the detective is investigating, and interfering with all of the island's daily affairs, it becomes apparent that there may be some kind of cover-up going on and that the child was sacrificed in some sort of ancient druid ritual. Every time he uncovers another clue, the community becomes even less forthcoming, and they try to scare him into leaving them alone; this all leads to an exciting conclusion.

"What's in the bag, a shark or something?"
Overall, we felt that this movie has been highly underrated. If you like Nicolas Cage, you will like this film. We have been quoting to each other nonstop since viewing. You must go into the movie knowing that it is intentionally overly dramatic and over-the-top to the point of comedy. But then again, that is the mindset you evoke when entering any Nicolas Cage masterpiece. Nicolas Cage, well done sir, bravo!

Movie quotability:
  • "What's in the bag, a shark or something?"
  • "I'm a policeman, see my badge?"
  • "You little liars." (to a room full of children)
  • "Perhaps it is time for you to stop bullshitting me, okay?"
  • "How'd it get burned!?  How'd it get burned?  How'd it get burned!? How'd it get burned!?"
  • "You have my permission to stay out of my fucking way!"
  • "Killing me won't bring back your god-damned honey!!"
  • "What is it?  What is it?  Ohhhh Nooo, not the bees!!"

Plot Holes:
  • Man refuses to fly Malus to the secret island based on principle but gives in for a measly 100 bucks.
  • Malus thinks someone may be trapped in the canvas bag that is dripping blood. They tell him to look in the bag and he flinches; decides to not look.
  • Supposedly Malus is a great detective but he doesn't connect the many, many hints that the kid is his.
  • Flashlight works perfectly underwater.
  • Mr. Malus desperately tries to wake up an obviously decomposing body.
  • Strange ritual conveniently has one full body bear costume that allows Nic Cage to infiltrate.
  • With two broken femers, Nic Cage still respons coherently to each new bizarre event.

Exceeds Expectations
!Pissed that she stayed in the Cage!


Steve M said...

Good thing I didn't see the count of one Cage death before watching the movie as that would have been a bit of a spoiler. As it was I had hope he might escape all the way till the bitter end, but the moment they had him encircled I had a feeling it wasn't going to turn out well for our hero.

I believe the pilot was offered a Benjamin and a Grant for the flight out, still not much to sell your integrity for, but that is what the script called for. Also, Cage was only on the island for like 2 days so I don't see how the pilot's body was decomposing, though it did look rather strange like they had mutilated it. Waterproof flashlights do exist and I have one, but it is doubtful that a cop from CA would be carrying one.

Speaking of a cop from CA, it didn't seem right that someone from CA would refer to an island in WA as being in the Pacific NW. That's something you tell people back East who think WA is where the President lives so you have to give a vague reference to a corner of the country. The effects in this movie were just as unrealistic. You could tell a stunt double was riding the motorcycle and the CGI bees were state of the art 20 years ago.

Other points that bugged me was Cage stepping off the ferry to find the only pilot that flew supplies to the island rather than having to find a boat that would gladly drop him off for $40 then come back in a few days to pick him up. The island had no signs of a means to generate or collect electrical power yet the doctor's office had electric lights that were left on. Even if they were solar or wind powered you'd be very careful about their usage. The Wicker Man was made out of green Alder trees which should grow in abundance around there, but I never saw any on the island and I can tell you from experience that green Alder does not burn.

Despite its many issues, I found this movie to be enjoyable and it kept me engaged with guessing and second guessing what was really going on.

Rilifon said...

Review #1

And so it begins the epic journey of watching every Nic Cage movie. I'll start by my personal favorite so far, the one and only The Wicker Man.
This is probably the tenth I watch this movie this year, but to make AYITC I did myself a favor and re-watched it.

You can tell a masterpiece when it can tell a story on its own. Sure it has something to do with a daughter, a suspense and what not, but we all know whats all about: Its Nic Cage. He is confused. He is an ex-cop. He screams. He kicks people. He is a bear.

Many have tried to reach the pinnacle of the movie industries, but failed. The Wicker Man succeeds because it does not try o be the best, it tries to be simple, but in simplicity it has found perfection.

The Cage Factor ( something I'll use a lot in future reviews ) is at a dangerously high level in this movie. For future reference, Cage Factor is the factor which determines moments on the film where Cage completelly changes focus of the viewer to beyond the plot, onto Cage himself, by punching someone, screaming nonsense stuff or even reacting in the most unconvetional ways. Nic Cage is when you realise Cage is not being the character, he is being himself. And you love it.

The best way to analise this movie is not by thinking much on the plot itself, which is in my opinion just a regular B suspense movie. And don't forget to watch the Director's Cut. Sure you miss the classic "Not the Bees" scene, but the fade out with Cage screaming "Not my legs" will crack you up just as much.
To conclude, this is a msut watch, for Cage and non-Cage fans. A delightful experience, and what I hope future Cage films will take as an example.

My grade: 9.2

I'll try to do the AYITC before 2013, but if can't, may it be written I have until 27/08/2013.


James Ayers said...

Congratulations on making the decision to embark on one of the most epic journeys of your lifetime. You will no doubt experience very high highs and very low lows over the next year (or 4 months if you remain as badass as you are feeling tonight) of your life. I encourage you to look to others here for support as we will do the same with you. Use our previous reviews along with the Cage Matrix to avoid Cage burnout and have a enriched and fulfilling Year in the Cage.

Rilifon said...

Thank you James. It is a harsh journey indeed, but I'll try my best not to fail in this great quest must of us here are trying to fullfil, may your cause be finding a meaning of life or just having a Cage fever.

Hope to hear from you again in this process, and know that I find your advices very helpful and needed in the long road to come.

James Ayers said...

Although this is terrible, I think it belongs here:

Anonymous said...

this is now years old (I just found it I'm sorry) so this is probably stupid to say, but as covered by a few other "not the bees" is the extended cut if you get the original edition or watched it in theaters it is not there and is not "canon" to original film.

KaBluie said...

#23 The Wicker Man (2006) On Demand First Time View. Not as bad as a I heard. It was okay.

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