Friday, August 12, 2011
Season Of The Witch (2011) - 1.5/5
Two crusaders (Cage and Perlman) found themselves shaken in the killing for the church. Their devotion to God is strong, but not so much for the church. So they abandon their lives as Crusade heroes and push forward as wanderers. When they are spotted as deserters they are given the choice of being forgiven of their crimes if they take a young woman claimed to be a witch, to a distant castle where the monks contain the last manual to test if she has made a pact with the devil. Things may not be what they seem, though and their trip may be for the wrong purpose.
Let's start off with what I thought was pretty decent about "Season Of The Witch". Firstly, I think the story itself is fun and hoaky. Had it been made in 1988 I would have a near and dear spot for it in my heart. It's surface level stuff that never really attempts to go much deeper than the basics, but the main story itself is cheesy fun. Also, it's hard to go wrong with Ron Perlman. Even in the worst films (here's looking at you "Mutant Chronicles") he has a presence that stands out at a cult fans dream. Maybe its because I've seen him in so many movies I love that even at his worst, I love watching him throw down. And then there's....well...that's about it.
From those highlights of the film, we slowly dive bomb into drivel that only Hollywood could concoct and screw up. The dialogue is atrocious (seemingly like they tried to make it fit in the time period, but not wanting to give up some of the standard mainstream comedic relief) and our cast rarely makes it worth watching them deliver it. Cage is over acting his damn best here and Perlman is given nothing but standard 'sidekick' comments and surface value emotions to express. The rest of the cast is forgettable (thanks!) and director Dominic Sena, known for such 'classics' like the "Gone In 60 Seconds" remake and "Swordfish", does nothing to give the film any style of its own. It's your basic Hollywood fantasy crap here. Tons of useless CGI and cheap sets that aren't used in clever ways to overcome their faults as plot points. Yawn. Even the dreaded 'pushing the carriage over a rotted bridge upon a gorge' scene is not bad enough to enjoy and not near good enough to cause tension.
This film could have been fun. They needed to embrace the cheesy concept for what it is, push legit special effects instead of half assed CGI ones, and use the talents involved to their strengths rather than cramming actors into roles that they obviously could give two shits about. As is, "Season Of The Witch" is a modern Mystery Science Theater 3000 fodder film that goes all the wrong ways at all the wrong times. Not much recommendation here.
Written By Matt Reifschneider