Movie Review 2007 #1: The Wicker Man (2006)

I’ve decided that movies that I’ve not seen before are going to get the review treatment here, as they do on my LJ. So, rewatching eXistenZ for the umpteeth time won’t get mention here, but renting a hitherto unseen movie, or going to the theater, will.
First up is the 2006 remake of The Wicker Man, starring Nicholas Cage

The original The Wicker Man featured Christopher Lee as the head of a mysterious, isolated island community of pagans who employ a visiting police officer as a human sacrifice because of a failed crop, with a very 70’s psychadelic vibe.
The remake is much less fun. Nicholas Cage plays a police officer who is lured to a mysterious isolated island at the behest of an old flame who claims her daughter has gone missing, and foul play is implicated. Cage travels to the Pacific Northwest and with difficulty lands on Summersisle, a pagan community with a new twist–they are a Gynarchy.
The cinematography is okay, nothing spectacular. The acting is spotty, with some good bits mixed in with a lot of stuff that doesn’t rise above the mediocre. The set up, though, is weak. I am much more impressed with the female-dominated society in Elizabeth Bear’s Carnival than this creepy but ultimately weakly developed island in the Wicker Man. The movie violates Checkov’s Law by presenting plot points and ideas which have no final pay off–such as a bee allergy by Cage’s character, and dreaming sequences that seem to go nowhere. And I can’t believe that the island would remain so isolated and uninvestigated by the state of Washington.
There are some cute homages to the original movie. I liked the actress who played the schoolteacher as well as the actress who plays Cage’s former flame. But those enjoyable bits are lost in a sea of dreck.
NOT Recommended.