The Wicker Man

The Wicker Man


Reviewed by: Darren Amner

I am fully aware that this is a remake and the original is said to be a cult classic, a statement that I can neither confirm, nor deny, as I have never seen it. So going into this 2006 version I had no preconceived notions as to whether I would be let down, or not.

Nicholas Cage is an actor I like, but at times his performances can be as explosive as they can be incredibly wooden. Here, he plays Edward Malus, a policeman who sets off to a small island to investigate the disappearance of a little girl. All is not what it seems and as his search deepens so do my thoughts, specifically how on earth can I recoup the time I have spent watching this complete nonsense.

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My reason for such a harsh critique is the dire plotting, snail-like pace and comatose cast. Cage has some appeal, using his wry charm, but when he raises a smile it’s probably his way of coming to terms with the absolute absurdity of the script. The inhabitants of the island live their lives under tight secrecy, which is a theme in keeping with the audience as it, too, has no real progression to follow, as there isn't enough detail to buy into the whole deal.

It is also very hard to take the tone seriously. Part thriller, part horror, the movie has no balance. Most of the frightening moments are Scooby-Doo scares, with Cage occasionally being attacked by bees – yes, you did read this correctly!

The movie’s tagline is Some Sacrifices Must Be Made, which is a fitting description for anyone brave enough to sit through it. The only person to walk away with any dignity is Cage's agent, who still manages to get his client $20 million pay cheques, despite starring in tosh like this. Some might say he is laughing all the way to the bank, sadly at the audience's expense, as this is by no means value for money on any level. Not even the sight of Cage “bitch slapping” Leelee Sobieski to steal her bear costume can save this complete dud.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2007
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A detective searches for a missing child in a mysterious Pagan community.
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Max Blinkhorn **

Director: Neil LaBute

Writer: Neil LaBute, based on the original 1973 screenplay by Anthony Shaffer

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ellen Burstyn, Frances Conroy, Kate Beahan, Molly Parker, Leelee Sobieski, Diane Delano, Michael Wiseman, Erika-Shaye Gair

Year: 2006

Runtime: 102 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: Germany/US


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