If you have ever pictured Nicolas Cage as a crusading knight in the Middle Ages, then what are you doing picturing that? That’s a pitch for an elevator that goes only down! That’s a high concept that must, quite literally, be high.
This is the puffy-faced Nic Cage. The one who fights for Christ and Little Debbies and not necessarily in that order.
“I am eating the Middle Ages – starting with the creamy middle,” said Nic.
Cut to the execution of some witches.
“Did you sign a pact with Lucifer?” a priest asks an accused witch.
“Only to get the international distribution rights for this picture,” she replied.
“You will be hung by the neck until you are dead, and your body will be weighed down with the collective displeasure of the audience – oh, a heavy burden, indeed!”
Nic is busy fighting the Crusades – the low budget version of the Crusades that appears to be set in Ron Perlman’s backyard. Together, Nic and Ron kill everything that stands between them and their dental veneers.
“I fight for Christ and my smile in His name!”
Cage, who has never been famous for picking the best projects, has gone off the rails this time. Season of the Witch is regrettable from the opening frame to the extended animation sequence where the cartoon demon looks like he took a left turn at Smurfville.
“We must vanquish this demon!” says Nic. “The Three Little Pigs are counting on us!”
“I wish I had that big red fist from Hellboy now,” said Perlman. “But I left it up Guillermo del Toro’s ass.”
The demon has brought on the plague, and only by reading the incantation from a special book can he and the rest of this God-forsaken movie be stopped.
“We must read the sacred words to dispell this demon!” said Perlman.
“I only read the sacred words to Elvis Presley songs,” replied Nic.
Listen, if I want to watch Ron Perlman play with knives, I’ll call his publicist and have him come over to my house and cook something.
So Season of the Witch is a Medieval road trip movie, where Cage and Perlman must transport a witch across treacherous terrain to her destiny.
And has there ever been a movie with treacherous terrain that didn’t include a flimsy, ramshackle rope and wood bridge between two cliffs? Why no, there has not. Has this idea been atop every screenwriter’s Facebook status page at one time or another? You bet it has!
“I had a flimsy bridge crossing scene in The Social Network,” explained Aaron Sorkin, “but I cut it because the action distracts from my densely-packed, rapid-fire dialogue.”
Season of the Witch is not only less than 100 minutes, it’s just plain less.
“We’re going to need more Holy Water,” says the priest as the demon attacks.
“And we’re going to need more lines from screenwriters whose collective memory extends back farther than Roy Scheider’s dialogue from Jaws,” says Perlman.