Review: The Last Witch Hunter
We all know Vin Diesel is awesome. Many of us know he is a hidden geek who loves Dungeons and Dragons. So what happens when you mix Vin Diesel and his love for D&D? A movie called The Last Witch Hunter he makes and stars in about one of his all time favorite D&D character.
As the title suggests, Vin Diesel playing Kaldur is the Last Witch Hunter. His mortal enemy, the dreaded Witch Queen curses him with eternal life before perishing herself. Fast forward to modern times, he now protects humanity by taking down hostile witches. He soon discovers that his ex-partner was attacked by a witch and hunts him down. I won’t give away too many spoilers, but know that things escalate.
I give the Last Witch Hunter credit for having a less than straight forward plot, often times we see fantasy films that have a very bland ‘land ruled by bad guy and hero defeats them plot’. In the film there are unexpected twists and turns that take place and throws the viewers off. I’ll be completely honest by saying that most of the twists were either predictable or came out of left field, making you wish there was more build up.
In the film we start off with Kaldur who is pretty much a copy of Riddick. Stoic, strong, skilled, smartest in the room, and makes everyone else look like sheep. Granted, those qualities are exactly why we all love Vin Diesel. When his name is on a movie we expect a bad ass and that is exactly what we got. The side characters feature his former partner played by Michael Caine, his new partner played by Elijah Wood and a young witch played by Rose Leslie. There are other characters in the film such as the Witch Queen and her main acolyte but neither of them have many lines nor character development.
Talking about the side characters for a moment, only Rose Leslie’s character was able to tack up sizable screen time. We see her start with preconceived notions about the world and the main character and end being much more open minded. No complaints from me, she mentioned she had powers and then used them. Unfortunately, when it comes to Michael Caine’s character and Elijah Wood’s character, they hardly got screen time. Both of their characters were priests whose job it was to assist the main character on keeping Witches from being hostile. Caine’s character is shown being a friend of the main characters and also acknowledges being less than Kaldur, which is a great concept as almost all of Caine’s characters have been mentors who teach ignorant main characters on how to be their best self.
As for the new partner, he is introduced as a passionate scholar of Witch lore and has the highest respect for the main character. It’s a very basic character who gets in the way and also helps out
every so often so keep him relevant. I won’t spoil anything but there is an aspect to his character that comes to light during the film that comes out of no where. It was a great concept but there should have been so much more build up so that when his character climaxed, it would have been so much more meaningful.
The world in The Last Witch is vast and filled of wonder. We are introduced to world where Witches exist and they have enough power to commit genocide. We have a system of magic with it’s own set of rules and laws that everyone has to abide by. There are various kinds of Witches. There are physical objects that create powerful spells when combined and so much more. They did a great job creating a world that was intriguing! Unfortunately, it just is not utilized enough to do it justice in my opinion.
An example of this is when Rose Leslie’s character informs the main character that she is apart of various anti-establishment Witch groups who are extremely passionate about their beliefs. However, when the main conflict comes around that goes against the anti-establishment’s views, none of them are called and brought to fight. The movie felt very epic but at the same time it was extremely isolated. We all love believing that the main character is so powerful that he/she can single handily defeat the great evil that has the power to end the world. But when you set something up like this, it makes everything feel so cheap. The main characters literally sacrificed nothing in order to save the world.
The Last Witch Hunter is an urban fantasy that does a few things right and a lot of things wrong but is not a bad movie in my opinion. It’s a decent movie. The laughs hit and missed. The action was lackluster and amazing. The world was both vibrant and dull. If you were to ask me if you should go out and see this film in theaters I would unfortunately advise you against this. However, I would highly recommend you watch it on Redbox or buy the DVD to play in the background of a D&D session. The world of The Last Witch Hunter was awesome and the movie only did alright because they did not use the awesome ammunition they were holding in their pocket. They took a risk and failed but I firmly believe the sequel will be more of what the fans want!