The Last Witch Hunter
Director: Breck Eisner
Writer: Cory Goodman, Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless
Cast: Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Rena Owen, Julie Engelbrecht, Michael Caine, Joseph Gilgun, Isaach De Bankolé
Seen on: 4.11.2015
Many, many, many years ago Kaulder (Vin Diesel) killed the Witch Queen (Julie Engelbrecht) who cursed him with immortality in the process. Ever since Kaulder has worked as a witch hunter. Now he is the last of his kind and most of the remaining witches live normal lives and stick to the rules. But then things start to go very wrong, starting with the murder of Kaulder’s scribe, advisor and friend, the 36th Dolan (Michael Caine). It appears that the Witch Queen isn’t quite as dead as Kaulder thought. Together with witch Chloe (Rose Leslie) and the 37th Dolan (Elijah Wood), Kaulder takes up the fight again.
I didn’t expect The Last Witch Hunter to actually be a good film, but I thought it would be an entertaining schlockfest. Unfortunately, the film aimed higher than that and ends up in the boring, disappointing middleground: not really bad, but not much good either.
The best thing about the film was definitely the production design: it looks great – from the witch’s lair to Kaulder’s apartment to the special effects to Chloe’s bar. There were many nice visual touches and I really enjoyed looking at the film. I also enjoyed looking at Vin Diesel and Rose Leslie (although the 20 year age difference did make me sigh. At least in the film their relationship isn’t as openly romantic as in the trailer). And Michael Caine and Elijah Wood are always a plus.
Unfortunately though the film just never really gets off the ground – neither flying, nor falling flat on its face. Every once in a while it does have its moments (mostly of the falling flat variety) like when the 37th Dolan reveals his backstory in the final battle, a moment so hilariously overwritten, it made me wish the entire film was like that.
At least the film never drifted off in the misogyny direction, always a risk with witch movies, especially when you have only male witch hunters and – at first glance – only female witches. But not only are there male witches as well, there are also good wtiches like Chloe and their powers are not intertwined with their feminity.
But that doesn’t change the fact that, unfortunately, The Last Witch Hunter is a boring, boring, way too long, boring film. More than once I wished that I had alcohol or that I’d fall asleep. And that is a death sentence for any movie.