Vin Diesel is a decent actor as long as you know what to do with him. The Fast and the Furious franchise was a perfect fit for him. Last word was they were going to shoot a total of TEN of those films, so we are up to number eight when the next one hits theaters in 2017. He has signed to do another Riddick film as well as another XXX film. Action seems to be his forte and he is sticking to it. He has done some other films that have been quite good like Find Me Guilty and to a lesser degree films like Knockaround Guys, Boiler Room and A Man Apart. Then he does absolute crap like Babylon A.D., The Pacifier and now we can add The Last Witch Hunter to THAT list.
Directed by Breck Eisner (The Crazies and Sahara), The Last Witch Hunter stars Diesel as an ageless witch hunter, cursed to never die but to roam the Earth ridding it of the evil witches. He has his “handler” (Dolan as they are called in the film) so to speak played by Michael Caine and a new “handler” played by Elijah Wood. Evidently the Shire has cut Wood loose, finally. Diesel’s only other helper is a lovely young red head, Chloe (Rose Leslie). When one of the handlers is put into a coma by a witch long thought to be dead, it is up to Kaulder (Diesel)and Chloe to end the evil witch’s reign of terror, once and for all.
I was not expecting much from this film, to be honest. But what I did expect was a coherent story telling and something OTHER than a cookie cutter, assembly line waste of time. The visuals are impressive as is Dean Semler’s cinematography, Stephen Jablonsky’s score and the presence of Rose Leslie, who is the only bright spot in this film, as a performer and as a character. The rest is a tired pile of mush with ancient spells, incantations and a bunch of religious hocus-pocus that I could not have cared less about. The acting is all routine with Caine, Diesel and Wood phoning it in. I suppose they are not to blame. They are not given much to do that is interesting and even less effort in what they are saying thanks to a horrendous script by Cory Goodman, Matt Sazama and Burke Sharpless (boy, does that last name describe this film).
The Last Witch Hunter could have been a good, bad film, but since there is no freshness or ingenuity in the material the whole film is a cringe inducing waste of time. By the looks of it they did not even try to make a statement with this film. Breck Eisner, who did a fine job directing the new updated film, The Crazies and I was one of the few that enjoyed the troubled Sahara, sadly misses a real opportunity to cut loose and have some fun. This film has no energy, style or grace and is not worth you time or hard earned money. Worse yet, a sequel is in talks, right now. Well, at least I don’t think they could do a worse film, but hey, anything is possible.
The Last Witch Hunter-*1/2 out of four
The Last Witch Hunter- Rated PG-13 for violence and gore
The Last Witch Hunter- Run Time is 106 minutes
The Last Witch Hunter (if you must) is now out on DVD and On Demand