WATCH THE TRAILER HERE
First, the Recap:
The eternal struggle between good and evil. It has spanned the ages, taking on so many varying forms, it is hard to count them all. Most certainly covered in film via many different genres, by many different characters, it remains a commonality that isn’t going away anytime soon. So then it comes down to exactly how WELL the depiction of said battle is presented, and hence can become the rub in a given narrative. During the age of the Black Death, master warrior Kaulder (Vin Diesel) has occupied a place as a member of the Axe and Cross, a group dedicated to hunting down and ridding the world of those responsible for the plague–witches. And, more specifically, their Queen (Julie Engelbrecht).
Successfully tracking her down, victory over the evil she has wrought seems assured, until a twist in her final moments radically changes Kaulder’s path, literally, forever. Despite his success, he is cursed to live, immortal, through the eras of the world, constantly being a present force carrying on the mission of his sect and now guarding a fragile truce between human and supernatural. When his current handler, Dolan 36th (Michael Caine), is viciously attacked, it is up to Kaulder, his new handler, Dolan 37th (Elijah Wood), and an unexpected ally in witch Chloe (Rose Leslie), to discover the source of the truce’s demise and put a stop to the return of an ancient enemy whose endgame back then has even more diabolical intention now.
Next, my Mind:
In the grand scheme of things, director Breck Eisner’s “The Last Witch Hunter”, ranks far better for this reviewer than the earlier 2015 dud that was “Seventh Son”, but doesn’t manage to completely engage like other fantasy-based efforts featuring more supernatural/mythical elements, say “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” or “Sorcerer’s Apprentice”. The CGI-heavy action sequences and other displays of things magical are almost always fun to see on a big screen, and therefore make the movie a visual animal mostly, but the film’s dialogue and attempts at character development still tended to fall a tad short, even despite obviously not going in anticipating Shakespeare. It is all geared towards plain, straight-forward entertainment, and in that respect, it delivers decently, if not completely.
Vin is always good for some good old fashioned mayhem, as his sheer size and almost Schwarzenegger-esque mix of over-the-top seriousness coupled with humorous quips does kind of herald back to Arnie’s style. As Kaulder, his deep voice and action chops do shine through, like most of the other films he’s done, but sometimes even that intended bravado feels a little tired. The supporting characters like Wood’s and Caine’s Dolans are merely there to add the “voice of reason” angle, and even though fun, Leslie’s peace-desiring but slightly bent witch Chloe comes across as more comic relief than anything, despite a significant amount of screen time. Again, as the viewer, if you’ve chosen to see this film, you knew going in what to expect, and ultimately, “The Last Witch Hunter” is at most a bit of escapist fun.
As always, this is all for your consideration and comment. Until next time, thank you for reading!