Wednesday, 12 January 2011

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Season of the Witch [Review]


Opinion: C

Nicholas Cage and Ron Perlman both made a filmography mistake that could be hard to dismiss on their career resume, but rest assured that it's the film that should be condemned instead of the witch. Good actors are sent on an aimless witchhunt errand that is leading them far from salvation, I'm afraid.


A 14th century Crusader returns with his comrade to a homeland devastated by the Black Plague. A beleaguered church, identifying sorcery as the culprit of the plague, commands the two knights to transport an accused witch to a remote abbey, where monks will perform a ritual in hopes of ending the pestilence. A priest, a grieving knight, an itinerant swindler and a headstrong youth who can only dream of becoming a knight join a mission troubled by mythically hostile wilderness and fierce contention over the fate of the girl.

We begin with some gripping scenes of how a town priest actually accuses three women of practicing witchery, hangs them from a bridge and leaves their bodies to drown in the river. Only to be later dragged up by the very same person for a post trial that doesn't seem plausible. The dense feel is set by Director Dominic Sena (of Gone in Sixty Seconds fame) and we are subsequently treated to sequences after sequences of pointless crusade battle action.

I think it was a pitiful waste of production cost.

The story didn't add up much in terms of credibility but there's a lot to provide for easy convenience, like how Behman (Nicholas Cage) and Felson (Ron Perlman) eventually arrived at the very same town that happened to require the escort service of two crusade deserters.

The presence of Nicholas Cage and Ron Perlman is personally warmly welcomed anytime, they seem to make a good pair on silver screens given a better script. If they appear to you with lacklustre performance, it's likely to do with the confined roles written for them. The screenwriter's someone by the  name Bragi F. Schut, a television guy and it's his first time on a film project.

Maybe he needs to adjust his writing for feature length.

Despite the futile witchhunt portrayed in this film, it does serve up some tense moments for the general audience as I do notice some of the audience members hiding their faces behind palms. Well, I really can't think of anything more to add except that it's a blockbuster wannabe without a soul (it's probably claimed by the witch).

It's the award season and there's really no time for Season of the Witch.

(With special thanks: Preview screening courtesy of InCinemas)


3 comments:

  1. Knew there was a reason I skipped this one.

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Alex Yes, I'm afraid so. I think you might be right about January being the dumping can for lacklustre films. I saw your take on True Grit and I'm dying to catch it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yup.. this film is not so good..

    I prefer Nicholas Cage to act in films like National Treasures. :)

    ReplyDelete

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