DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Film Review: The Wicker Man

"something 'Wicker' this ways comes..."

The Wicker Man (12a)
Dir. Neil LaBute

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

‘Some Sacrifices Must Be Made’ reads the tag line for this remake of the much revered British 1973 pyromaniac pagans on the loose chiller… What it failed to mention is that those sacrifices will be:

1. your sense of enjoyment,
2. your respect for the usually talented director Neil LaBute
and 3. by about half way through – your will to live…
Yes The Wicker Man 2006 is a tedious waste of time that should only be viewed by those diagnosed with a rare medical condition requiring them to see repeated shots of Nicholas Cage doing his ‘worried horse’ face in order to survive.
At one point Cage ponders loudly "Every time I turn my head, something doesn't make sense!" and if you go see this you’ll be tempted to shout out “yes – why did you waste your effort on this steaming floater of a movie?” It really is that bad, The Wicker Man is easily the worst Nicolas Cage movie I’ve ever seen.
The BBC called the film ‘laughably bad’, at least they seemed to be able to laugh at it but the crack team of mates that I took to view this (really sorry Tom, Matt and Steve) gave it unanimous thumbs down. Their comments included ‘weird’, ‘rubbish’ and ‘was that supposed to be scary?’ and I concur – don’t waste your money on this pointless unscary dross.
If pagan nuttiness is what you’re after then you might be interested in the fact that the director of the original Wicker Man is working on a ‘reimagining’ of the story under the curious working title ‘Cowboys for Christ’. The mind boggles…
But anyway, something is seriously amiss on the isle of Summersisle - just off the coast of the U.S. where a young girl has gone missing. Sensitive cop Edward Malus (Cage) is invited by the girl’s mother ‘Willow’ (the beautiful Kate Beahan) to investigate but he soon finds himself caught up in the island's mysterious pagan community, and suspicious of its leader Sister Summersisle (Ellen Burstyn).
Even those who haven’t seen the original (out this week on DVD as a 3 disc special edition coincidently) will sense that it’s going to end in tears. I was actually a little bit gutted that the new version sticks so religiously to the plot because for once I’d have been delighted to see a gung ho Hollywood gunfest ending… Alas it all goes up in flames, don’t say I didn’t warn you…

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):

Action öö – 'Get off the bike'
Laughs öö – Unintentional mirth ahoy
Horror öö – Just not nasty enough!!
Babes ööö – Kate Beahan has lips to die for

Overall ö1/2 (the worst film I've seen for some time!!)

Darkmatters: H O M E

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Carl V. Anderson said...

I'm not interested in seeing this...even less now because of your review...because I have heard really positive things about the original. I actually have a copy of it on video but have never watched it. Maybe that will be one of my October films to watch.

Bina007 said...

The BBFC rating says it all. 12A. And it's meant to be a horror flick. For all the flaws of the original, when you get to the final rite it really scared the pants off me.