<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Breck Eisner. Starring Vin Diesel, Elijah Wood, Rose Leslie, Michael Caine, Julie Engelbrecht
Running time: 1 hour 45 minutes
You’ve seen derivative drivel like this many times before. In The Last Witch Hunter there’s more ‘dreaming’ than ‘hunting’. What a nightmare.
The film starts off in ancient times with a near unrecognisable Vin Diesel as a witch hunter called Kaulder (sounds like cauldron). He manages to slay the Witch Queen (Julie Engelbrecht) but not before she puts a curse of immortality on his soul. Really? Immortality, a curse? Whatever. Cut to present day New York and Kaulder is all shaven and back to looking like Vin Diesel. He’s very rich because being immortal means you’ll collect enough money to be rich and is now taken care of by the Order of the Axe and Cross with his very own ‘dolan’ played by Michael Caine who seems to be settling in nicely with all the ‘I’m here to serve’ roles he takes up to pay the bills.
But centuries later, the witches of the world are orderly and quite nice actually. So he only hunts down the evil ones and they get imprisoned in the not very imaginatively named ‘witch prison’. But dark forces are at work to resurrect the Witch Queen whose heart still beats somewhere. It is, immortal. And Kaulder has a clue to the mystery but he has to think back to the time he ‘died’ but he can’t without the help of a witch called Chloe (Rose Leslie) who can enter dreams and help people along their daydream. Most of the film is just about that and to be honest, it really doesn’t help the plot at all.
Random witches get killed, not by Kaulder who is too busy dreaming to be hunting and Chloe gets a bit annoying after a while so you wish she were the one getting killed. Oh yes Elijah Wood is in there too for some strange reason or to provide the movie with a twist so utterly anti-climactic and dull that you wish he was never in the film to begin with.
Vin Diesel’s monotonous drawl isn’t charming at all, as much as he may think it is. At least if he had stayed in the ancient period with the beard and everything he’d have a chance to do something different and get out of that some character he plays in every film.
The only saving grace of The Last Witch Hunter is that it isn’t in 3D, which seems to be the trend again. Thank heaven.