Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Last Witch Hunter
Released October 23rd, 2015
1 hr 46 mins
Rated PG-13


Director: Breck Eisner
Writer: Cory Goodman, Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless

Vin Diesel as Kaulder
Rose Leslie as Chloe
Elijah Wood as the 37th Dolan
Michael Caine as 36th Dolan
Julie Engelbrecht as Witch Queen
Rena Owen as Glaeser
Ólafur Darri Ólafsson as Belial
Isaach De Bankolé as Schlesinger
Lotte Verbeek as Helena
Dawn Olivieri as Danique
Bex Taylor-Klaus as Bronwyn
Kurt Angle as Bodyguard #4

Review by Stephen M.

The Last Witch Hunter which is already out in theaters envisions Vin Diesel as an immortal witch hunter, Kaulder after gaining immortality after being cursed by the Witch Queen (Julie Engelbrecht) he apparently kills during the Middle Ages.  Full of action as one would expect from a Vin Diesel movie, the movie's confusing plot and shoddy acting makes this unfortunately one to forget.  Of course all of this could have been avoided if Kaulder would have just burn the darn tree from the outside instead of venturing in with his men.

Fast forward to the present, Kaulder with his handler, the 36th Dolan (Michael Caine) brings about memories of Buffy and Giles.  With the latter two more witty in dialogue, The Last Witch Hunter is a pale comparison even when the 37th Dolan (Elijah Wood) is brought on.  From there it becomes highly predictable as it is only a matter of time before we are confronted with a return and a betrayal.

The bright side of the film of an otherwise poorly executed one of this genre are the action and special effects.  While there is plenty of both, you are left with a feeling that there could have been more.  One of the best scenes of the film is when Kaulder and the 37th Dolan is at the 36th Dolan's residence and discovers the traces of magic.  As far as performances, Rose Leslie shines as the witch Chloe who helps Kaulder in his quest to discover what secrets are being hidden from him.  She has that scene stealing presence to her that was quite evident in her time on Game of Thrones.  Vin Diesel and Elijah Wood both have forgettable performances with Michael Caine adequate.

Overall, the film is a good action filler for a slow weekend watch.  Albeit I would kick myself if I had to pay full price for it, and quite reluctantly even matinee.  There are just too many inconsistencies with the film including the idea of immortality and mortality that plays a huge role towards the end.  In addition there are too many borrowed elements that are not fully explored such as the secret society that watched over Kaulder's action and why exactly is he called the "last" witch hunter in the title.  Are the filmmakers telling us that the secret organization has all their eggs on Kaulder and have no other warriors/soldiers prepared?  From watching the film we already know there was no other immortal witch hunter before him, so as the only one to start off with, he couldn't be the last.  It is all these little things that have you scratching your head and yearning for Vin Diesel to return for Fast & Furious 8.  For better supernatural/action entertainment that is both filled with action and wit, watch old episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer instead and wait for this film on Netflix or cable television.


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