Review: The Last Witch Hunter
The incredulous meets the incomprehensible in The Last Witch Hunter, a meek-hearted mess of swords, sneers, grunts, and a lot of proper nouns.
Vin Diesel is Kaulder, a medieval soldier cursed with immortality, a witch slayer turned witch whisperer who lives in the 20th century having somehow forged an alliance with the more peaceful spell casters amongst us. It seems though that the one he vanquished some thousand years ago, the Witch Queen (this uninspired script also features Witch Prison, Witch Council, and other utterly absurd names for things that don’t mean anything), is itching to come back.
And she does. That won’t spoil anything, but at least offer a bit of redemption towards the end of a film that features very little witch hunting, terrible special effects, and a complete lack of entertainment.
The strangest thing in this muddled offering from director Breck Eisner comes early on: a conversation between Diesel and co-star Michael Caine. It’s not what they are talking about – Caine plays Dolan, Kaulder’s attaché – it’s that they share the screen. The cringe-inducing script makes you think that this is really some ruse, a spoof on Caine’s Alfred having a conversation with Bruce Wayne. You think he’s about to say, “I won’t bury you, Witch Hunter” and thinking about that movie, and maybe Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon riffing on Caine, are the enjoyable moments.
Elsewhere, Rose Leslie is a pacifist witch and Elijah Wood is another member of those sworn to aid Kaulder, and they too are out of place and cashing checks. I suppose though, we’re all in this mess together:everywhere people talk about things they are going to do with nothing really happening. Or at least nothing making sense.
Not surprisingly, the ending leaves the door open, but let us hope there is enough out there to make sure this is indeed the last.