Movie Review: the Last Witch Hunter
Just in case you thought ‘The Last Witch Hunter’ will resurrect your interest in the dark arts and make witch hunting an entertaining process, with an exceptional portrayal of the most petrifying, the most fatal and the most cold-blooded witches – who are undoubtedly the unbelievable cinema fodder – you are mistaken! While the Queen Witch (Julie Engelbrecht) has the power to represent the wickedness, the viciousness and the malice, she still doesn’t come across like the striking, the stuck-up, vindictive ghost we are so eager to watch. Caution: More disappointment ahead.
'The Last Witch Hunter' title doesn’t need additional explanation. Actor Vin Diesel features as an immortal witch hunter named Kaulder. While the viewers are never given detailed information about Kaulder and where he belongs to, the director uses a few flashbacks to share a few details about him. This includes – Kaulder living a content and happy life with his wife and daughter.
The story begins with Kaulder and his group trying to hunt down the Witch Queen. During the encounter, Kaudler manages to slay the Witch Queen. However, she curses him with immortality.
About 800 years later, Kauder the last surviving hunter of The Axe and Cross, continues to chase witches and maintain order on earth. Thankfully, he doesn’t sport the same Hobbit look, now! Instead, the clean shaven Kaulder lives in a plush, comfy apartment in New York, is seen driving a luxury car, and looks classy in pricey suits.
Following the inexplicable demise of his friend, Father Dolan (Michael Caine), Kaulder finds out that his death was planned. Along with the help of Elijah Wood, and a dubious supporter and witch Chloe (Rose Leslie), Kaulder manages to accomplish his goal – that of hunting down those guilty of Father Dolan’s death.
As Kaulder plans a search across the city, he realizes that a group of evil witches are planning a creepy plot against the residents of New York. This not only includes the resurrection of the Witch Queen, but also an earnest attempt to discharge a black plague to annihilate everyone.
Agreed, the narration of ‘The Last Witch Hunter’ has to move from the present to the past and back to the present to ensure the viewers are fully aware of the rationale behind every move, but the oscillation between different time zones just doesn’t help the film. It looks muddled, leaving you with little to appreciate beyond some visually appealing sequences. While you try to make some sense between the two time frames, don’t be shocked if you find it difficult to curb your laugh as you see Vin and Elijah combat witches by using guns. Yes, they think it would help them. While some of the action sequences are entertaining to watch, they're spoilt with below average CGI.
The film could have done well, if it had a convincing story, if it had an intriguing script and yes, if it had no one-note characters, and if it had quality acting from Vin Diesel.
If I had to use just one word to describe the movie, it would be disappointment. Not once will the viewers find it gripping, enthralling and engaging. If you don't automatically fathom the sequence of events, it's almost certainly not for you.