I am generally not a fan of remakes. There are exceptions, but the Wicker Man remake is not one of them if I am honest about it I found it pretty bland and boring.
Nicolas Cage plays a motorcycle cop named Edward Malus. After an incident involving an exploding car, Malus takes some time off work to pull himself together. While he is convalescing at home, in front of his TV, he receives a letter from his former fiancee, Willow, who ran off and left him some years ago. He now discovers she has returned to the small island where she was born. Apparently the wayward Willow has a daughter now, but the little girl, Rowan, has been missing for two weeks. Can Edward come and help? Wow, the nerve of the woman, but Edward is obviously still carrying a torch for her, and he isn’t at work at the moment, so he packs his bags and heads for the remote, but very beautiful island of Summersisle.
Summersisle is a privately owned island and the local community value their privacy, so it’s a little difficult for the cop to get there. He takes a boat part of the way and then has to resort to a little bribery in order to coerce the pilot of a small private plane, into adding him to the island’s regular delivery.
Whe he arrives at Summersisle Edward finds the islanders less than helpful. The entire community deny any knowledge of the missing girl. They do, however, admit to having a Sister Willow living on the island and point him in the right direction to find her.
The inhabitants of Summersisle live a very different life than Edward is used to. The population is almost entirely female, and the few males that are present are totally subservient to the women; and everyone on the island is accountable to Sister Summersisle.
Summersisle has neither gas nor electricity and the islanders live off the land. Honey is the main produce and there are a lot of bee hives on the island, a fact that may spell trouble fo Edward because he is allergic to bee stings.
The island setting of this film is truly beautiful and the house where Sister Summersisle lives is extremely picturesque. If the islanders ever needed to send a post card that would be the picture to put on it. The setting is one of the few redeeming features of the film. It is hard for me to put my finger on what it is that doesn’t work about the Wicker Man remake. One thing though, is Cage’s portrayal of the policeman Edward Malus, who comes across as being far too aggressive. Edward has every reason to get angry about the islanders’ behaviour, but the way he rants and raves at the ladies and tells them to “Stay out of the fucking way!” (and in front of the children too) is a little over the top. All that pver acted aggression just doesn’t ring true; especially not from a cop, who is also supposed to be a nice guy.
I have seen the original Wicker Man several times and it is one of my all time favourite films. There are a lot of good actors in the remake, but it fails to compare to the original—a film that did not need the remake treatment anyway. Creepiest thing in the remake? The two old, blind ladies—twins who seem to talk in stereo. If you do watch this one, keep an eye out for them.
Runtime: 97 mins
Certificate: 15 (UK), PG-13 (USA)