Movie Review: The Last Witch Hunter

I didn't know much about this movie before I got screening passes for it, other than Vin Diesel and Michael Caine were in it. It ultimately ended up being a bit of a miscasting (Vin Diesel) but did have enough special effects to keep my interest.

Kaulder (Vin Diesel) has been hunting witches since the 1200s or so. When he was "young," he met the Witch Queen, and essentially killed her; however, she cursed him with the "gift" of immortality, and now his life is directly connected to hers - if her heart is killed, he dies too. Fast-forward to present-day, and Dolan the 36th (Michael Caine) is about to retire, leaving Kaulder in the capable hands of Dolan the 37th (Elijah Wood). However, Dolan the 36th is murdered - so it seems - hours before his retirement, and now Kaulder and Dolan the 37th must figure out who did it, and why certain witches are back in town. They enlist another witch's help too, Chloe (Rose Leslie, aka Jon Snow's girlfriend from Game of Thrones), and soon Kaulder figures out something rather disturbing: the Witch Queen is back.

I feel like Vin Diesel was a bit miscast here; if I was to recast the role, I'd maybe give it to Chris Pine, or someone else who has done fantasy movies before (perhaps the movie should have been called "You know nothing, Toretto"?). I liked Michael Caine and Elijah Wood in their roles, as well as Rose Leslie - they were all more believable than Vin Diesel - but unfortunately, Caine has only a few scenes in the film, and the movie mostly focuses on Kaulder, with Rose Leslie being a supporting character.

Maybe see this movie. Definitely don't pay full price for it - see it at a matinee - but it's one that can be saved for a Blu-ray/DVD rental. I will say the movie had some fun special effects - the Witch Queen was especially gross/terrifying - but there were so many plot points that could have been expanded more, and I found myself checking my watch near the middle of the movie (never a good sign). The ending seemingly leaves the film open for a sequel, also, so it will be interesting to see if they do one or not; if so, I highly recommend recasting Kaulder's part, because although Vin Diesel was okay in the role, the part seemed more suited to someone else.

The Last Witch Hunter is in theaters today, October 23rd, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 106 minutes. 2.5 stars out of 5.

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