The Wicker Man (12A)
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Time Out says
Wed Sep 6 2006Neil LaBute’s utterly misconceived remake of Robin Hardy’s 1973 cult horror film is a boring, fright-free catastrophe, not least because of its half-cocked attempt to replace scriptwriter Anthony Shaffer’s original conflict between po-faced Christianity and free-spirited paganism with his own sardonic take on the battle of the sexes (cf ‘The Shape of Things’). So instead of Christopher Lee’s eccentric aristocrat lording it over his phallus-worshipping Scottish serfs, we have Ellen Burstyn queening it over her commune of feminist worker bees, and Edward Woodward’s strait-laced, God-fearing policeman is replaced by Nicolas Cage’s haunted, belligerent motorcycle cop. Lured to a remote island by an old flame whose daughter has gone missing, Cage tries to shout, bully and punch his way to the truth. But his blinkered violence is no match for the feminists’ fancy footwork, and his bad-tempered bear soon falls into their honey-trap. Substituting irrelevant back-story for insidious intrigue and daft stunts for suspense, LaBute’s film drones on and on. Finally, and most unforgivably, its cursory Wicker Man finale fails to replicate the fiery shock of the original.
Author: Nigel Floyd
Fri Sep 1 2006