HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen
Porky’s II: The Next Day
It Happened Here
Giant from the Unknown
211
Top of the Bill
Set It Off
No Way Out
Traffik
Pitch Perfect 3
Insidious: The Last Key
Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, The
Dirty Carnival, A
King of Hearts
Crowhurst
And the Same to You
Racer and the Jailbird
Superman and the Mole-Men
Phantom Thread
Sweet Country
Loophole
Irma La Douce
Brigsby Bear
Wish Upon
Gringo
Finding Vivian Maier
Shape of Water, The
Lady Bird
Endless, The
Universal Soldier: The Return
   
 
Newest Articles
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
   
 
  Last Witch Hunter, The Coq Au VinBuy this film here.
Year: 2015
Director: Breck Eisner
Stars: Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood, Michael Caine, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Rena Owen, Julie Engelbrecht, Joseph Gilgun, Isaach De Bankolé, Michael Halsey, Sloane Coombs, Lotte Verbeek, Dawn Olivieri, Inbar Lavi, Armani Jackson
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Adventure
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Kaulder (Vin Diesel) was a witch hunter eight hundred years ago, but that proved to be his undoing when he set out with his band of allies to destroy the Witch Queen (Julie Engelbrecht) who had taken up residence in a huge tree while her black plague spread throughout the land, wiping out vast swathes of the population. Once they had arrived at her location, they were faced with many apparitions and evildoers, but managed to despatch them until Kaulder reached the heart of the tree where the Queen lay. He thought he had the upper hand, but as she expired she grabbed into his chest and gripped his heart, telling him he now had the curse of immortality to live eternity alone...

That's because we had already seen in the prologue that Kaulder had lost his wife and child to the supernatural shenanigans, but precisely what he did between the thirteenth century and the present of 2015 where much of this was set remained a subject glossed over by The Last Witch Hunter, yet another of those films which supposedly had terrific, too long unmade scripts but when they were adapted it turned out they had little appeal to general audiences and flopped. It was another blow for Vin Diesel, a commanding presence who nonetheless had difficulty making hits away from his Fast & Furious franchise, with his Riddick sequels not exactly setting the world on fire either.

Was this all that bad, though? Could we discern what made that Cory Gosman's script so admired when it was in its initial draft? Probably not, for as with many scripts for would-be blockbusters it was extensively rewritten, supposedly to tailor it better to the star whose avowed appreciation of playing Dungeons & Dragons was apparently behind a lot of his characterisation and the plot to boot. That's all very well, but you just had to look at the official Dungeons & Dragons movie of about fifteen years before to see how easy it was to make a pig's ear of such material that very much depended on following the rules of a game that is invented as it progresses rather than having a fixed narrative for a film to capitalise on.

It hardly mattered, as The Last Witch Hunter was so yoked to the possibilities of computer graphics that any medieval authenticity was even absent in the opening medieval scenes and flashbacks, and Diesel came across like a wry he-man who might as well have been a cop with a flaming sword for all the concessions to his intended character history could have been. Kaulder presumably has been putting witches in their place for centuries, but now it seems someone wants to reanimate the Queen Witch and he is the man to stop it, along with Catholic church representative Michael Caine (about as much use as Judi Dench was in the second Riddick instalment) and religious sidekick Elijah Wood. It had all the spiritual heft of a TV episode where the detective had to recapture a crim who had skipped bail.

Just in case we thought, wait a minute, back when there were real witch hunts it wasn't the strongarm tactics of those like Kaulder who were the good guys, it was the poor victims of aggressive scapegoating in small communities that saw a great number of deaths of innocents, there was a nice witch included in the shape of Rose Leslie as Chloe, who becomes another sidekick to Kaulder when he sees that witches aren't all bad, not that the executed folks all those years ago were witches anyway. And in fact blameless victims are still murdered for supposedly practicing dark arts to this day in some parts of the globe, so Chloe had a lot to prove. As it was, what followed were empty setpieces which were heavy on the special effects and self-importance yet light on any resonance or anything to make most viewers care very much, any genuine arcane or holy trappings merely a pose. It just sort of happened, things were resolved, a sequel was hinted at (good luck with that) then the credits were rolling under a bad cover version and you were faced with contemplating what you should have watched instead. Music by Steve Jablonsky.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 701 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
George White
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
   

 

Last Updated: