Wasted talent, flawed plot damage `Wicker'

Remake lacks energy, undertones of original

Review C-

September 02, 2006|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Movie Critic

The Wicker Man is too loony to be a drama, too earnest to be a comedy, too predictable to be a horror film. All that, and it wastes the talents of Nicolas Cage, playing a traffic cop-cum-detective who couldn't find a clam at a clambake.

The film remakes the 1973 cult classic about an innocent, weak-willed Christian policeman (Edward Woodard) who, while searching for a lost girl, finds himself caught up in a bizarre fertility ritual on a remote Scottish island. But the new film abandons the religious subtext that was crucial to the earlier film, not to mention the wanton sexuality represented by Britt Ekland as the island's focal priestess. Worse, director Neil LaBute simply can't match the whirling-dervish energy original director Robin Hardy brought to the festivities.

The Wicker Man (Warner Bros.) Starring Nicolas Cage, Ellen Burstyn, Kate Beahan. Directed by Neil LaBute. Rated PG-13. Time 97 minutes.

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