Terry Gilliam, of Monty Python fame, directed this Heath Ledger/Matt Damon buddy comedy /fairy tale, in which the two are fake exorcists forced to fix an enchanted forest. Parts of the movie operate from the same type of old-times-are-funny humor as Python does. You got your villagers with dirt-smeared faces, your bowls of food that look like pig slop, your screaming witch-hag who screeches “Cursed! Cursed!” Golden boys Damon and Ledger look comfortable doing the physical comedy, and a lot of this stuff is genuinely funny, if warmed-over.
But when the film makes it to the forest, where village girls have been disappearing, it has some true visual enchantments to offer: Trees moving around at will, a witch queen with gloriously curvy nails and desiccated skin, and an enchanted wolf with unnatural quickness. After a good stretch in the dream world of the forest, one is disappointed to be removed back into a torture room run by a decadent French general — a room which belongs to the decidely unenchanted world of Monty Python.
Opens August 26