Cold Road Trip
image from glendalenewspress.com
RANT: Saw The Fighter for the second time. Christian Bale was still amazing to watch. The supporting cast definitely made Wahlberg's film what it is. Today, 3 wonderful older ladies walked into the theater and took the seats to my left. I was concerned that they may have been at the wrong showing, but they enjoyed the movie just fine.
SYNOPSIS: 14th-century knights Behmen and Felson desert the Crusades after years of bloodshed in the name of God. Upon returning home, they find themselves arrested with the option to either rot in prison or return to service to the Church transporting a suspected witch to a monastery for trial.
Possibly the busiest actor in America, Nicolas Cage teams up with the always imposing Ron Perlman for a 14th-century crusading knights' buddy film. The film's opening scene sets the stage with soldiers and a priest forcing confessions from a trio of women concerning the practice of witchcraft. Once their souls have been redeemed from Perdition, they are promptly backed off the bridge for their hanging and eventual drowning in the river below. Of course, the fact that more than one of the trio returns to vex the priest after their watery burial is testament that the methods might have some credence.
Enter Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman as Behmen and Felson, two heroic and vicious Crusaders cutting their way through the infidels that stand in their way against the truth of God and the Church. After we bear witness to several sieges and battles spanning a dozen years, Behman and Felson start to question the divine direction of their leader and the bloodshed they have had more than a hand in. Deserting the Crusades and returning to Europe, Behmen and Felson make their way across a plague-ridden countryside, eventually finding themselves in the center of a town with the possible source of the Black Plague. Faced with either the prospect of being tried for their desertion of the Crusades armies or transporting and escorting the suspected witch girl to a monastery where the monks will try the girl and exorcise the witch inside her with the incantations within the centuries-old Book of Solomon.
Cage and Perlman dominate their scenes, Nic with a stare and Ron with his presence. The alter boy-turned-knight-wannabe, Kay (Robert Sheehan) somehow captured his moments onscreen with his heroic innocence. Claire Foy, known only as The Girl, splits time between convincing us of her innocence and of her powers of persuasion over her captors and escorts. Some of the scenes are more choppy then they should be, especially during some of the horseback dialogue. Other scenes in the Wormwood forest invoke the foggy, surreal tension and suspense that make up for Dominic Sena's lesser cinematic choices.
Season Of The Witch is not the best work from director Dominic Sena (Kalifornia, Gone in 60 Seconds), but it delivers enough to be entertaining as a fantasy film popcorn escape. Barring the semi-witty repartee between the main characters and some of the "shaky" camera work, once Sena gets the gang across the rotting, plank bridge at the edge of the forest, the films starts running on more than 4 cylinders.
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