The Last Witch Hunter
Do you know that feeling of going into a movie theater and just being completely confused from the very start? Unfortunately some movies like to leave you in this trance of ‘what the heck am I watching’ from beginning to unrelenting end. Even more disappointing The Last Witch Hunter is one of those movies.
Vin Diesel (The Pacifier, xXx, Babylon A.D.) stars as Kaulder an immortal who lives his days keeping the hidden world of witches in order. 800 years ago he killed the Witch Queen played menacingly by Julie Engelbrecht (Die Mamba, Frei, Born to Dance) who, before passing, cursed him with the power to never die. Since then witches have made a truce to stay hidden in the world, but to never use their magic on humans. Any witch who breaks this truce gets a visit from Klauder who is now a household name among witches who desperately fear him. Michael Caine (Now You See Me, Children of Men, Get Carter) is Dolan, he helps Kaulder, I guess, with changing identities, tracking down witches and putting them away. He’s due for retirement and so in comes his replacement also named Dolan (anyone who holds this position is named Dolan seems like it) played by Elijah Wood (Cooties, Maniac, Happy Feet 2). On the night of his retirement Dolan dies and Kaulder instantly recognizes foul play.
In the search of the witch who killed Dolan…the one retiring not the new one, Kaulder needs to remember a vital moment from the night he killed the Queen Witch. But remembering is hard work for a man that’s lived centuries, so he needs the help of a witch that can take him to certain memories. Chloe played by Rose Leslie (Honeymoon, Now Is Good) is a young witch who owns a bar where humans aren’t allowed to drink because…well…she only serves magical drinks, but Kaulder knows she can fix up a potion for him to visit the memory he needs most. What he finds there puts him, Chloe and Dolan…the new one, on the trail of the Queen Witch’s few remaining followers who have found the key to bringing her back to life. Dun, dun, DUUUUUN!!
So…I think it’s pretty clear what happened here. First Zombies, then Vampires and now we need the newest monster craze, Witches. So let’s get together and make a story that’s cliché, boring, throw in an entanglement of CGI nonsense and make Witch’s the newest hot trend. Why are all of Kaulder’s right hand men named Dolan? Why is it that When Kaulder first asks for Chloe’s help she says she would never help the man who chases after her kind. Then she changes her mind not even five minutes later, then after Kaulder burns down her bar, she accuses him of destroying everything she has, saying she will never help him again only to, not even five minutes later, change her mind and help him? Those were just a few scenes that bothered me throughout the film. But the other things such as the blind witch in the bakery, the council of witches underneath the church, Kaulder’s past life, the mystery behind the Queen Witch’s return, all of it would make for a great story but because there’s no time to really delve into it we’re left confused and just barely able to keep up with Kaulder and this so-called mission. There is a story hidden somewhere underneath all this madness, but the film moves too fast for us to really grasp it.
Rated PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images.
Rotten tomatoes have this modern-day witch hunt at a 14% rotten. Boooo!
This weekend we had a lot of releases, Jem and the Holograms, the latest Paranormal Activity, and Rock the Kasbah. All of them major flops. So The Last Witch Hunter wasn’t alone in disappointment, not even it’s fantastic cast could help save it. If you’re looking for something new, something thrilling to rival that zombie/vampire fetish you’ve got going on well…you better keep looking.