Season of the Witch review ?½

It's been 10 years since Cage and director Sena collaborated on the unmemorable and unexciting Gone in 60 Seconds – but alas, their teamwork hasn't sharpened over the years. This new effort is equally forgettable.

It starts off well enough, though – much zippy editing of 14th-century battle scenes with Cage and Perlman as grizzled crusaders fighting wars on behalf of the church, and becoming progressively more jaded and cynical as the years drag on. Owing to their disenchantment, they go AWOL but are soon forced to take a purported witch over black death terrain in order to deliver her to a monastery where monks can try to rid her of the nasty spirits lurking within. The two men are accompanied by a naive but determined priest (Moore), a caring soldier (Thomsen), an idealistic youth (Sheehan) and a shifty swindler (Graham).

Their journey encompasses all manner of CGI trickery – a death-defying bridge, shape-shifting wolves in the forest, etc – and the climax is a hodgepodge of overdone effects that elicits zero suspense or thrills. This is a shame as the first 40 minutes or so – beginning with the sacrificing of three women deemed to be devilish witches – are most watchable. There's brio and confidence to spare. But it runs out of steam after the halfway mark and one begins to lose patience with it. By the end you're left with a tedious mishmash of rampaging creatures that make little impression. Ultimately, it's a boring misfire. I'm more than happy to wait another 10 years (or hopefully longer) for whatever Messrs Cage and Sena cook up next.

Season of the Witch at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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