Season of the Witch
- Reviewed by: 00Dylan
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Current Rating 5/10 | 1 Votes
I realized something while watching Season of the Witch. I realized that Nicholas Cage is timeless. Throw him in any situation, in any time period, and have him do his "Nic Cage" thing. I will quickly accept it. This isn't the case while merely watching trailers. Out of the context, the individual scenes and Cage's performance seem borderline ludicrous. But once I view the product as a whole, I understand. I'm not sure what it is. It may be that I re-think the entire world around Cage. Perhaps I don't buy that this character would exist in our actual time line, but instead this is a separate world, a parallel dimension in which figures like this existed.
To an extent, the same goes for Ron Perlman. Perlman has range, I've seen enough of his work to know this, but like Cage, he often chooses to be Ron Perlman. This isn't much of an issue on account of Perlman being naturally charismatic, charming, and intimidating. And I can't fault him for not bringing his "A" game to Season of the Witch.
If I can be so bold as to pinpoint the major flaw plaguing Season of the Witch, it's that it's one of those movies where theme and setting take the place of plot. Just because your story takes place centuries ago in a land of magic and evil, that doesn't mean you can get by without a compelling story. Yes, it's always interesting to see the 14th century. And yes, witches, demons, spirits, and other forms of supernatural hoopla can be compelling. But note that I said "can," they aren't that way on their own. There is a witch in the film, which one can infer from the title of the film. And yet, a witch just being a witch doesn't make a film.
I only pick on the witch because everything centers around her; she isn't necessarily the source of the film's problems. The plot centers around a quest. Two knights (Cage and Perlman) ditch their battle in the crusades to return to their homeland, only to find that it's been ravaged by the black plague. This witch is believed to be the source of the plague, so it's up to be our heroes to escort her to a monastery where her curse can be lifted by monks. This works fine as a premise, but what follows is not a story, but rather a lack thereof. A group of warriors escorting a wagon while fighting the occasional supernaturally-charged wolves and traversing rickety rope bridges gets old quickly. In fact, the concepts were old long before this film reared its head.
The frustrating thing is that there is plot to be found in Season of the Witch, and not a bad one at all. The problem is where it's found, crammed into the last fifteen minutes of the film. Granted, it's something of a twist and those are often required to be revealed late, but it could've been built upon. Certain revelations take place that bear no meaning, because their concepts have never been established in the film. Oh no, things are not what they seem! Is this bad? Why is everyone so surprised? The characters in the film know plenty that we don't and, had we known that information, Season of the Witch might not have been so boring.
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