My Buddy is a Cage – Season of the Witch (2011)

Last time, I treated myself to the Brothers Coen and their deranged comedy, Raising Arizona.  This week, I wasn’t so lucky. Two renegade crusaders, Behmen (Nicolas Cage) and Felson (Ron Perlman), are reluctantly thrust back into serving the church when an ailing Cardinal (Christopher Lee) appoints them to escort a suspected witch (Claire Foy) to her trial.  If found guilty, her death may bring the end of a mysterious sweeping plague as well as the swift and painless end to a terrible movie.

It stands as a true cinematic testament that the individuals behind Season of the Witch manage to fuck up a simple premise so completely.  Our introduction to Behmen and Felson spans the course of twelve years, as we not only see the duo strike down God’s enemies in a blaze of shoddy CGI and repetitive staging, but we also apparently learn that both characters are apparently ageless.  For the duration of this time the makeup department doesn’t so much as bother to add a few wrinkles to Cage’s complexion or touch up Perlman’s grizzled facial hair into older, grizzled facial hair.  All this on the heels of a movie about killing fucking witches, though.  So touché I suppose.

Taking bets on whether or not that’s a wig

What I enjoy most about Season of the Witch is Cage’s unabashed nonchalance for the material.  Every actor apes his or her best vague Anglican accent except our two knights.  Ignoring the fact that nearly every period piece bafflingly equates “old” with “British,” you mean to tell me nobody else in this film suspects something might be up with the two dudes speaking with straight American accents?  Ron Perlman sounds he ventured to Syria BY WAY OF THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE.  Ay, Yankees ahh playin’ like shit fuggedaboutit! Is there a more egregious version of “phoning it in?”  You can probably make a lame E.T. reference somewhere here.

Maybe the beaks were used as a bacterial deterrent so that —
You know what?  Not even worth it.

If you’ve ever had the displeasure of seeing Blast From The Past, wherein a baby boomer Brendan Fraser is thrust into the hilarious antics of the mid-90’s, time travel back to the middle of the Black Plague and that’s how serviceable Nic Cage is here. His performance, if we can stretch that term to its absolute limit and apply it to Season of the Witch, exists only in the loosest sense.  The character of Behmen amounts to donning nondescript medieval costumes and then making absolutely no attempt to convince the audience that this film isn’t actually just Da Demon n’ Nic Cage.

Just look at that thing.  Somebody should’ve been fired for that helmet.  And it might have been Nic Cage.

Next week: Adaptation!

* * * * *

Want more Cage? You got it.


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