#8 Season of the Witch
Director: Dominic Sena
Epic Co-stars: Ron PerlmanRunning Time: 95mins
Cage Time: ~95%
Cage Kills: 16 (allegedly 600 plus countless women, children, and wolves)
Cage Flip-outs: 1
Shauna's Review: Season of the Witch may not have been based on a video game, but it definitely could have been... or vice versa. Knights Behmen (Nic Cage) and Felson (Ron Perlman) cheerfully hack their way through a half-dozen 14th century Crusades until the fateful day the mists clear and they realize they've killed (attractive) women and children. Goddammit! After a pissy screaming match with their leader priest dude, they desert the army, principles intact.
A month later, they find themselves in the city of Marburg where a mysterious black plague (hmm) has taken hold. The woman deemed responsible has been labeled a bitch; I'm sorry, a witch, and needs to be taken to the monks for trial. As deserters, the soldiers face an indeterminate but ostensibly awful punishment; Cardinal Saruman offers them clemency for escorting the prisoner on this inevitably perilous journey. Nic Cage refuses (he has his principles, after all), but changes his mind when he sees how hot the witch is. Aww, she looks so innocent! Perhaps he can save her, thus redeeming himself after slaughtering all those women and children! The rest of the movie depicts their harrowing journey, as the men face evil, both physical and psychological, in their attempt to bring her to the monastery.
Of course, in the first scene of the movie, we established that witches/magic/evil are totally real and definitely horrifying, so we won't spend too long wondering whether or not she's actually a witch. Plus, you know, she always has her stringy, dark hair hanging in front of her eyes and generally looks like the chick from The Grudge. Very subtle.
Season of the Witch did not do very well in theaters; I remember seeing the previews and thinking it looked terrible. But it surprised me. It was both more creepy and more suspenseful than I had anticipated. The overall trajectory was predictable, but there were a number of surprising and interesting moments throughout. The film wasn't particularly strong in terms of Cage-y-ness. The dialogue is terse and largely unpretentious; the witty banter is mostly given to Perlman, and some of it is actually funny. As a result, this is Cage's straightest and most subdued performance so far... with surprisingly good result. This isn't the movie to watch if you're looking for Nouveau Shamanic mega-acting, but it is a solid adventure/suspense flick.
|These principles weigh heavily upon my head, like... overly long hair and half a British accent.|
|In my next role, can I please play a wizard again? I'll even settle for Count Dooku.|
|I'm totally innocent... I don't know why you don't believe me.|
Movie quotability: 1/5Plot Holes:
- (Whacks girl on head) "Now she's sedated."
- "I've saved your ass a hundred times, have a little faith."
- "Did you see that priest's face? Looked like someone pissed in his holy water."
- The plague has something to do with demons.
- SPOILER: When waking up after having demons excised from your body, you just lie on the ground with your boobs pressed firmly against the floor. Boo!