Coming to theaters in time for the haunted holidays is director Breck Eisner and Summit Entertainment comes the eternal life of “The Last Witch Hunter.”
During the time of the Black Death, a warrior named Kaulder (Vin Diesel) is out to rid the world of the Witch Queen who has killed his wife and child. Tracking the thing down to a desolate place inside a cursed tree, Kaulder kills the demon but not before it places a curse that will make him immortal.
Fast forward to modern day and Kaulder continues to serve the Cross & Axe being overseen by the 36th Dolan (Michael Caine). The Dolan is ready for retirement much to Kaulder’s dismay but before leaving introduces him to the 37th Dolan (Elijah Wood). The next day the 36th Dolan dies but Kaulder knows that something is wrong.
Along with the new Dolan, it becomes clear that there is dark magic around and he, Belial (Olafur Olafsson) is looking for something. Kaulder is out to discover what it is when he meets Chloe (Rose Leslie), a young witch whose help he needs to go back into his memory.
In that memory lies a secret Kaulder can not grasp and betrayals he never saw come but the mission is still clear — death to the Witch Queen!
Diesel as Kaulder is clearly having fun in this role. He actually smiles once or twice in the film when he isn’t being a total badass. There isn’t outrageous action here or should I say that there is the perfect amount for Diesel. I love everything he does so don’t look for me to trash him — ain’t gonna happen. Perhaps it’s because he seems to just do whatever he wants to do in films and fans (including me) will get behind it.
Leslie as Chloe is actually perfect as the young witch. Flaming red hair, awesome accent and riveting eyes — a bit stereotypical perhaps but I didn’t have a single problem with it. Caine as the 36th Dolan cares for Kaulder but it’s a mixed bag when there are secrets involved. Caine is such an awesome actor.
Finally, Wood as the 37th Dolan had me a bit confused at first until his story is told. The new and improved Dolan, he has the technology smarts to help Kaulder find answers. Not one to sit idly by, he gets the chance to take on the crazy. I was properly impressed.
Other cast include: Rena Owen as Glaeser, Joseph Gilgun as Ellic, Isaach De Bankole as Schlesinger, Sloane Coombs as Elizabeth, Lotte Verbeek as Helena, and Julie Engelbrecht as Witch Queen.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “The Last Witch Hunter” three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. Seriously, this film is absolutely everything it should be. There is a story, action, adventure, creepy characters, a bit of comedy, a few twists and did I say creepy? I got to sit back and just allow the story to be all of those things.
The CGI is very cool, Diesel got thrown around quite a bit but being immortal there was only one moment where I said out loud, ‘oh that’s gotta hurt Riddick’. It was good to see Leslie once again and I will admit, at one point when Kaulder was aggravating Chloe I said, ‘you know nothing Vin Diesel’. Of course I had to say something about Caine like, ‘it’s good to see Alfred got a job after ditching the Batman!’ When Wood’s character faces the weirdly twisted demon in the cave, of course I said, ‘you got this Frodo, he’s a mini-Sauron!’ Hey, I like to have fun too you know!
But that’s what this movie was about, having fun! The audience was cheering, laughing, and just having a good time. There is something amazing about seeing everyone enjoying the film just for the sake of enjoyment!
In the end — fear what is coming!