Season of the Witch (2010)
Director: Dominic Sena
Claire Foy/The Girl
Two master ass kickers, medieval Knight dudes (Cage and Perlman) who booked out on the Church and the Crusades happen upon a village consumed by a severe plague. The villagers blame the mess on a young hot chick (Foy) who may or may not be a witch. The two Knight dudes are to get the trinket to some monks to be judged one way or another. Let the CGI jamboree begin!
Ahhh good old January aka dumping month; a time when Studios usually get rid of the films they don’t have much faith in
and force feed them down our throats. How I love thee! A joy for any reviewer. Yes that is sarcasm by the way. The only
reason I was remotely excited to doggy SEASON OF THE WITCH (which saw its release date bumped up once and went through re-shoots last September) was that some peeps had told me that it sucked so much ass; that it was hilarious.
I don't know about yall, but I’m always up for a so bad its good slice of
celluloid cheese pizza and ya know what it’s pretty much what I got
out of this sucka. To be fair to the film; it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I was expecting another lemon like THE WICKER MAN
REMAKE; but SEASON OF THE WITCH had its shit way more together than that turd of turds.
Yup, SEASON OF THE WITCH did some of it right. It had an easy going pace, some cool action scenes (loved the sword fights
in the beginning) and enough intentional and unintentional laughs to be entertaining
on varied levels throughout. Although Dominic Sena has yet to live up to his first
and last great film, the 1993 KALIFORNIA ( I gave up on him ever doing so BTW); nobody can take away the fact that he has a keen eye behind the camera. I
so grooved to his use of slow motion
here and the countless sweeping areal shots he put out hit the spot. This was a good looking flick; when CGI and green screen stayed out of the picture
that is, but more on that later. Moreover; I dug the performances here. Yeah it took me about 15 minutes to “believe” Nick Cage as a Knight (his
Yank accent and hair piece threw me off at first) but once I got into the
ride he didn’t bother me none (and yes he had one classic Nick Cage freak-out and yes it owned). In fact he was very amusing to watch and his gnarly chemistry with the
hilariously dead pan Ron Perlman pulled many chuckles out of me. It was almost as if both actors knew they were in a so-so flick so they decided to
make the most of it and have a blast. And props to the supporting cast while I'm
at it, they did a bang on job; specially taking into account the material they
had to work with. Claire Foy as the witchy gal and Robert Sheehan as the
ambitious young buck Kay stood out the most for me via their strong shows. The
camera loved both of them and they brought genuine intensity to their roles.
The thing that hurt SEASON OF THE WITCH though, that held it back
from being more than what it was, was the flimsiness of its script. The initial
premise was tantalizing and had mucho potential; but it didn't go far or
enough with it to do it justice. Character development was weak tit to say the least and apart from some cool sword play early on and a slick “get the wagon over a rotting wooden bridge” bit nothing really stood out
to back-hand me stupid and leave a mark. Same went for the film’s witch-chick
element; they could've done so much more with
her in terms of the “is she or isn’t she a witch” question and her role within the bulk of the narrative.
But alas that was not to be. On top of that; some of the dialogue was cringe inducing but
hey... at least I got a couple of cheap giggles out of it (yes the fact that the
whole cast had very modern American accents when they were supposed to be
in old times Europe added to the fun). And was it me or did the CGI and green
screen look pretty crappy?
Somebody skimped on the Post production budget that's for sure! Too bad; maybe with better visual effects some of the action scenes would have had more impact (like that
evil wolves go nuts sequence) and the finale would have been a killer instead of a meh way to leave the audience.
Finally; you gonna do a movie of this ilk, a horror adventure if you will, with
dashes of classic Hammer spread about for good measures; don't pussy out on the
violence man... it makes no sense. Its like getting a head-job with a condom...
On the whole; I saw SEASON OF THE WITCH, laughed a few times, didn’t get too hurt along the way and now that its over; I will forget it
quicker than I can spell w-h-o-r-e. Now that I think of it; its an ideal hang over movie. One to put on the next day after a hard night of drinking when you want to watch something and
not have to use your brain much to process and digest. DONE!
The flick really went for that PG 13 and it showed; we get off screen beheadings, a light stabbing, some nasty plague makeup and Nicolas Cage’s hair piece.
T & A
Nicolas Cage hair piece was naked.
SEASON OF THE WITCH rolled on quick and painless; put out some intentional/unintentional laughs, decent acting and a handful of slick action scenes. Bummer that the story rarely went beyond its initial premise, that the shoddy visual effects often lessened what could have been superior physical horror get-downs and that the violence was watered down to Kool-Aid level. Like I said before; it's an ideal hang over movie; other than that... whatever man.
Filming of the flick took place mainly in Austria, Hungary, and Croatia.
Season of the Witch tried to get a PG out of the MPAA; it was submitted twice; but they always came back with PG 13.
The script was penned by screenwriter Bragi F. Schut