Obviously, Dominic Sena (Gone in Sixty Seconds) has a degree of comfort working with Nicolas Cage, but there’s no way anyone will buy the off-kilter performer and Ron Perlman as his crusading sidekick in the 14th century when they sound like they wondered off a mid-1980s buddy picture set.
Season of the Witch attempts to explain away one of the plagues as a curse or spell cast by a young witch who must be purged through the use of an ancient Biblical text.
Buried under all the moldy cheese, there is a fascinating story about the role of women in medieval society and their relationship to the Church, but the self-serious approach of Sena and his actors spoils the potential for either a fact-based exploration or a genuinely campy romp (what’s truly missing are a few glorious clips of Cage wigging out that could be added to his YouTube collage).
Unintentional laughs might score with the midnight movie crowd, but that niche proves to be the smallest of all when it comes to solidifying strong opening weekend box office and helping larger audiences suspend disbelief. Prepare for a cold, cold season at the multiplex. Grade: D-
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