Last night, because Nicholas Cage occasionally surprises me, I went to go see Season of the Witch. It's a movie that is currently at 5% on Rotten Tomatoes, and so I had hopes for its so-bad-it's-good-ness. Those hopes were drowned in waves of boredom.
Nicholas Cage plays Behman, a disillusioned knight who, with his partner Felson (Ron Perlman)*, has to bring a suspected witch to a monastery for trial. Along the way, they encounter a rickety bridge, some wolves with skin problems, and two lame-ass not-quite-twists. This review from io9 would have you believe it's all in good fun, that the fact that Perlman gets in a funny head-butt or two and accents keep disappearing and reappearing makes it a hee-larious and zany filmgoing experience. That's simply not true. I was ready to laugh at Season of the Witch, but I only laughed once, during an unending stretch of dialogue that was the medieval equivalent of "Tomorrow, I'm going to retire, and then it's nothing but piña coladas and ogling at hot chicks in bikinis for this cop." It wasn't the laughter that comes when a movie is winking at you. It was the laughter that comes when a movie just doesn't know when or how to stop sucking.
There's not one thrill here. There are two brief scenes with zombies and demon animals, but they're cheap-looking and directed with absolutely no skill; the action is choppy and uninviting. The dialogue is a series of cliches, delivered in an uninteresting fashion. The characters are non-existent (although Cage and Perlman do manage to muster up a pleasant-enough professional rapport, even if they're speaking lines that seem to have been designed by a robot to achieve maximum blandness). This is not the good-bad movie you're looking for; it's from the director of Swordfish and I'd say it's exactly as bland and forgettable as Swordfish, only without the millisecond-long flash of Halle Berry's bare breasts to bring in the horny thirteen year olds.
If you're looking for good Nicholas Cage performances, the Egyptian is showing Wild at Heart on Friday and Saturday night at midnight. That is a movie to love. Season of the Witch isn't even a movie to hate; it's a movie to immediately forget.
* Behman and Felson sounds like the name of an accounting firm. And in fact Cage and Perlman starring in Behman & Felson: Accountants of the Crusades would surely inspire a series of brain-exploding cinematic orgasms.