Season of the Witch (2011)


 

Nicholas Cage, Warriors, Demons, Witcraft; Season of the Witch really does have it all. However, all that appears interesting is lost in Dominic Sena’s (Whiteout) bland and forgettable biblical road movie.

Whilst it may not be the worst film in the past twelve months, something which still seemingly belongs to Clash of the Titans, there is little here to differentiate it from the frequent blockbuster drivel that Hollywood seems to spit out these days.

Nicholas Cage and Ron Perlman star alongside a host of two dimensional characters which bizzarly includes home grown star Robert Sheehan (Misfits) who perhaps plays the films best role in newfound warrior Kay. Unfortunately, his stellar performance is overshadowed by a script that’s as bland as the special effects.

The saving grace of the film is in its fabulous set pieces which really do shine through, the choice of location and fabulous cinematography especially in the early battle sequences are fantastic and made the film look like it was going to be more of a success than it actually was. It is here that Sena must be given credit as the movie could’ve been much better if it had followed from the quality of the opening.

It is important to note that the CGI and special effects are not being praised here because on a budget of around $40m, the designers could’ve done a whole lot better than some very questionable looking wolves and melting metal.

Cage, who isn’t without his fair share of criticism as an actor is completely miscast in his role, speaking contrived one-liners that won’t shake off those critics who say he cannot act in anything but action movies, but to be fair, this is not entirely his fault, the script leaves much to be desired and poor old Nick is stuck slap bang in the middle, sitting on the fence between his wrongful characterisation and his need to please the critics.

Alongside Cage is Claire Foy, a relatively unknown actress trying to make a big budget breakthrough as ‘the girl’, a rather unfair accreditation at the end of the film. She actually plays the ‘witch’ and does so well, but there isn’t enough dialogue for her to become a central role in the film, so in the end, she sits in a cage for the entire duration and looks menacing; if that’s what you want to call it. This is a problem that blights the entire film, there are only a handful of characters but the alarmingly poor script means that much of what they say is forgotten.

Overall, director Dominic Sena has missed a trick with this biblical tale, unfortunately it doesn’t do enough to make it stand out and therefore it’s lost in a muddle of poor scriptwriting and poor special effects. However, a few standout performances do save it from being a complete disaster and as such, it just about becomes a passable tale.

2/5

 

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