The Last Witch Hunter is the type of movie I refer to as ‘gloriously goofy.’ This the kind of over-plotted, backstory-heavy, horror/fantasy/sci-fi mash-up that I typically disdain, but this time all the B-movie elements aline and make for a solid guilty pleasure. It seems that every-time star Vin Diesel steps away from his Furious franchise, it’s to appear in a shabby fantasy film. He obviously has an appreciation for the genre, but his contributions like Babylon A.D. and Riddick (2013) have been forgettable trash, The Last Witch Hunter provides Diesel with an appealing character in a film that is slickly directed, and written with more wit and imagination than was probably necessary, especially for the foreign markets that will no-doubt eat this stuff up, with a cast of familiar actors in supporting roles that don’t call for heavy dramatic lifting.
Medieval warrior Kaulder (Vin Diesel) is cursed with immortality in the process of slaying a highly feared Witch Queen. Now, after centuries of protecting mankind from the evil forces of black magic, he walks amongst us in modern-day New York. Unbeknownst to the fabled Witch Hunter the Queen’s resurrection is being prepared by those closest to him. Aided by his spiritual sidekick Dolan (Elijah Wood) and a plucky female bartender, Kaulder must protect the world for the vengeful wrath of the Witch.
I don’t think director Breck Eisner gets enough credit for his filmography. Despite the tabloid-style media sensation that greeted his feature debut Sahara, novelist Clive Cussler disowned the final product and Paramount lost millions on back-end deals and local bribes, the movie was solid entertainment with a professional style and certain confidence in visual storytelling. His next film, The Crazies displayed the same traits and The Last Witch Hunter is a richer product because of his crafstamnship behind the camera.
Director: Breck Eisner
Stars: Vin Diesel, Elijah Wood, Michael Caine