Books in the Park

suggestions from the Barbara S. Ponce Public Library at Pinellas Park

The Wicker Man (2006)

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wicker manThe 2006 version of The Wicker Man is the less successful remake of a 1973 film of the same name. I have yet to see the 1973 version, so I cannot comment on how closely the remake follows the original, but I can say that the original was highly acclaimed. The remake? Not so much.

Edward Malus is a troubled man. He is a police officer haunted by those he could not save. Benched on indefinite leave, he is roused from a depressive stupor when he receives a letter from his ex-fiancee, Willow, pleading for his help in finding her missing daughter, Rowan. He jumps at the chance to break his monotony and to actually help a person in need. But he realizes that the task of locating Rowan will be more difficult than he ever anticipated; Willow now lives on a remote island, in what appears to be a cult.

To be honest, this film is very, very bad. It is one part unintentional comedy, one part confusing mystery, and one part cautionary tale of what would happen if women had power. It is also 100% enjoyable if you like bad films.

Malus, played by Nicolas Cage, is so annoying, unlikable, and incompetent that I end up rooting for the antagonists, but considering the antagonists are a goddess-worshiping nature cult who keep all males of their society in a state of mute servitude, it is not hard to be charmed by them. They outwit Malus by using a combination of misdirection, feigned helplessness, and their feminine wiles in an act so stereotypical I thought I might be watching a film made in the 1960s. The menace and drama that was supposed to be created by this dystopian society falls flat because it relies on such heavy-handed, hyperbolic tropes about gender. The ultimate result was infinitely comical. I know I’m certainly going to be quoting this film’s dialogue in regular conversation.

I wouldn’t recommend this movie if you are looking for quality cinema, but if you are a connoisseur of bad films, you need to add this to your list.

Check the PPLC Catalog for The Wicker Man.

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