The Wicker Man-Bear
by Josh Green
September 2, 2006
What was possibly going through Nic Cage's head when he turned to the end of the script where it read, "And Edward Malus puts on a bear costume and prances off into the woods"? What was director Neil LaBute thinking when he was shooting and told Cage to karate punch anyone who stood in his way. Better yet, what did the studio executives say when they saw this film. My only guess would be that one leaned over to the other and said, "This was supposed to be a comedy right?" Before I continue my ponderings of what the hell happened when remaking The Wicker Man, I'll give some info on the plot.
After trying to save a mother and daughter from a horrible car wreck, Edward Malus (Nic Cage) receives a letter from his ex-fiancÃ©e. She tells him that she has moved to a scarcely populated island and that her daughter has been missing for some time. Being that Edward is a sheriff, he decides to travel to Summerisle and look for his daughter. Upon reaching the island he begins to unravel a deep plot hidden within the neo-pagan community that inhabits the island.
Let me restate that this film is not supposed to be a comedy, however it should have been. There is not one moment in the film that is suspenseful or scary. The plot, which is incredibly stupid in itself, can't muster up enough bulk to take itself seriously either.
It's terrible to see such actors put their talent to waste. There are many "big name" actors in the film, but they all give the worst performances I have ever seen. There is even an unnecessary cameo by James Franco at the end of the film. I know that it is hard to see what the picture is going to turn out like, especially for an actor who has to visualize the movie through the script, but even the dialogue in the movie was outlandish.
Knowing that the director has the final say in almost every movie, I am asking this. At what point did it cross LaBute's mind that he was making a bad film? Or did it ever? Did he know it was going to be horrible from the beginning and didn't care? The music, editing, or cinematography couldn't have made the movie more awkward even if it had tried.
I will admit that there were many laughs from almost everyone in the audience during the film, though they were unintentional. They occurred largely in the last third of the movie where Nic Cage dons a bear suit and karate chops his way to the truth. Poor, poor Nic Cage; my only hope is that people won't see this film. I don't want people to dread Ghost Rider after seeing him perform so poorly in this movie.
To summarize, there is not a beam of hope anywhere in The Wicker Man's wicker body. It isn't worth anyone's time or money. If you are looking for real thrills, wait for Saw 3 on October 27! The Wicker Man will just leave you waxy.
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