Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"Aaah! My legs!"

What's the fastest way to get me to appreciate a goofy 70's psuedo-horror tale? Make a vastly shittier American version!

As should come as no surprise to any of you, Neil LaBute's Wicker Man remake is not very good. I saw it for two reasons. 1) It was free and 2) to research a bit. So yeah, the movie's bad, but as Frank noted afterwards "That movie wasn't any better than I thought it would be, but it was much more entertaining." While no studio movie in this day and age could possibly match the utter musical weirdness of the original, this is still an awfully goofy movie, punctuated regularly by Nic Cage basically admitting as much. When his cop character opens a child's desk to find a trapped, angry bird, Cage exclaims "WHAT?!?" in a way that suggests that no one told the actor there was a bird in there. That exclamation is only matched by his cry of "Goddammit!" when he realizes he's just dreamed a double fake-out (you know, he thinks he woke up from a nightmare but then he's STILL IN THE NIGHTMARE and then he wakes up for real). Eventually Cage just decides the best solution would be to just punch everyone, which is especially funny once he's dressed in a bear suit. And instead of smoothing over the flaws of the first movie, this one just flags them up further, especially at the end, when the conspiracy to ensnare Cage proves itself to be much more complicated than seemingly necessary. It's a dumb, dumb movie. I found myself wishing someone would break into song.

Aaron Eckhart shows up for a one-line cameo at the beginning, and I'd say it was to keep his track record of being in every LaBute film, but Eckhart wasn't in The Shape of Things, right?

Oh, and Molly Parker plays two different characters for no reason whatsoever.

Oh! And then there's that hilarious coda, which features a very special guest star.

Really, the movie jettisons all the condemnation of religious fervor from the original and replaces it with a "Bitches just want your seed!" kind of mentality. Classy.

But there was one bright spot. The absolute best part of the movie is when Cage, still at his local precinct, passes by a Missing poster sporting a picture of Edward Woodward, the star of the original. That was really the only genuinely good bit.


Anonymous Frank said...

By "beat suit," Jeff means "BEAR suit." Chew on that for a minute.

The epilogue actually features TWO special guest stars, but Jeff doesn't realize because he never watched Joan of Arcadia.

6:54 PM  

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