Director: Neil LaBute
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Leelee Sobieski,
Ellen Burstyn, Molly Parker, Frances Conroy
Appearances by: Christa Campbell, Aaron Eckhart
RunTime: 1 hr 42 mins
Released By: Archer Entertainment APPL &
Official Website: http://www.archerentasia.com/thewickerman
Date: 4 January 2007
Award®-winning actor Nicolas Cage stars in The Wicker
Man, a re-imagining of the now iconic 70’s cult classic.
Written and directed by Neil LaBute, The Wicker Man also stars
Academy Award®-winner Ellen Burstyn, Kate Beahan, Leelee
Sobieski, Molly Parker and Frances Conroy.
motorcycle-cop Edward Malus (NICOLAS CAGE) receives a letter
from a former lover (KATE BEAHAN), begging him to find her
missing daughter, he sets off to help. He flies to Summersisle,
a remote island off the Washington coast, where he discovers
a way of life that time has forgotten.
seemingly idyllic, pastoral community, nothing on Summersisle
is what it appears to be. The people on this mysterious island
are wary of strangers and no one will acknowledge the girl's
disappearance. As Edward steps up his search and clashes with
the islanders, he discovers the terrifying truth about their
ancient belief system.
all the 70s thrillers and cult favourites, Anthony Shaffer's
1973 religiously themed “The Wicker Man” was not
one built for remakes. Its message is as potent as it was
then as it is now. So it goes without saying that 2006’s
“The Wicker Man” is not one of director Neil LaBute’s
proudest achievements. It is so curiously bad that its entire
creative concept boggles the mind. Stripped of all that made
the original one of the most thought-provoking thrillers of
its time (or any other decade for that matter), LaBute conceives
an Americanised remake with nothing to offer aside from a
couple of changed scenes, a new story arc and the removal
of the original’s most creepily erotic dance routine.
as insulting to the genre as it is to the millions of Pagan
practitioners the world over, LaBute has a rather obtuse fascination
and an appalling grasp on the concept of feminism that one
has to wonder if frantic misogyny was his sole inspiration
in creating women of such hatred and dimness. Relocating the
original’s Scottish isles to a female dominated commune
in an island off Washington State, the lush locale finds itself
hiding more flaws than scenery should ever do. This scenery
also provides fodder for its cast. Yes, the one with 2 Oscar
winners and 2 Emmy nominees. The overacting and ludicrously
performed reactions are so over the top that a roundhouse
kick to the face eventually seemed like an adequate response.
misstep was to execute the material so sullenly and gravely,
yet not affording it the respect that it should have had to
build the isolated tension and pervading fear of Nicholas
Cage’s Edward Malus, a highway patrolman with recurring
nightmares of an accident he failed to prevent. These nightmares
parallels his discovery of a secluded and violently insular
Pagan commune where he investigates the disappearance of a
little girl at the request of her mother, his ex-girlfriend.
He soon discovers that instead of the original’s Christopher
Lee (a role that the actor claimed was his finest) ruling
the roost, Ellen Burstyn is in charge of the island’s
directly lifted from Shaffer's own pages, Edward goes around
the commune and talks to, threatens and demands information
that he knows is being collectively hidden. While basically
trapping him on an island miles away from modern civilisation,
LaBute fails terribly in eliciting any suspense or sense of
dread in the increasing hostile and claustrophobic environment.
Cage’s characterisation of the policeman is gruff and
often resembles a bumbling detective who try as he might,
never receives respect or fear from anyone, including us.
the original discussed the possible futility of Christianity
and organised religion, and the depths men will go in order
to prove and defend their spirituality to the hilt, the remake
sidesteps these unsettling ideas either out of incompetence
or a cowardly pursuit of political correctness. Instead it
focuses on a less explosive, but maladroit handling of gender
politics that exposes more idiocy than educated theorising.
(One of the worst and most abortive remakes of recent times)
by Justin Deimen