“The Last Witch Hunter” is surprisingly original in the sense that it’s not based on a comic book or a series of best-selling books. That’s pretty much the nicest thing I can say about it.
After scrutinizing this movie, a few words immediately came to mind: Ridiculous, silly, ludicrous — and did I mention ridiculous?
Vin Diesel, who seems to be taking a break from the “Fast & Furious” franchise, stars as Kaulder, a 14th-century witch hunter who has an encounter with a deadly witch, who curses him with immortality. Then, 800 years later, he joins a secret fraternity of sorts in the Catholic church dedicated to hunting down and killing supernatural creatures.
Michael Caine co-stars as his superior, the 36th Dolan, and Elijah Wood plays Kaulder’s sidekick. Vin Diesel. Michael Caine. Elijah Wood. This movie should be a hoot with those three actors alone. Alas, I think only one word crossed all three of their minds when they signed on — paycheck.
There’s an overload of special effects in the movie, but the war between the witches and humanity could’ve been a lot clearer. I kept waiting for the likes of Hellboy or Constantine to turn up and join Kaulder on his crusade against these diabolical monsters.
I think there’s one problem: If you’re an immortal witch killer with centuries of experience in destroying creatures of this sort, aren’t you overdoing it a little just by using a partner or two? Shouldn’t your skills and arsenal alone be enough in the battle? I know, I am attempting to apply logic to a film that defies it.
The story is so unnecessarily convoluted and boring. The special effects are cheesy. The acting is so serious that these characters act as if this stuff could really happen. “The Last Witch Hunter” goes so far with its goofy premise that it might have a future at festivals for bad movies or even as the subject of a “Mystery Science Theater 3000” treatment.
(Rated PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images.)
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.