The Last Witch Hunter (2015)
So, we start with a roll of actors that is quite the draw: Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie (of Game of Thrones fame), Elijah Wood, and Michael Caine. Of these bunch, I think Michael Caine is the most surprising one in the movie, but I'm getting ahead of myself. This movie is not the sum of its credentials. Instead, it is substantially less than the effort and talent that went into it.
Rose is the proprietor of a small bar where witch drinks are served to witches and warlocks. Are we supposed to believe this economy could actually support something as specialized as this? I mean, there aren't supposed to really be that many witches in the first place, so how can something serving a subculture like this ever hope to stay in business? It doesn't matter. Instead, we get Rose to be pretty and serve as a special link to the underbelly of witchcraft.
Way back in ye olden days, Vin Diesel was a guy who a big group of scruffy, fur-wearing, axe-wielding guys followed into the fray against an evil witch (who we later find out is referred to as the "queen") in the middle of some giant tree (that looks like an evil version of the one from that crappy Hugh Jackman movie) where stuff looks like it's on fire but isn't. So, Vin kills the bad chick, but she curses him with eternal life...
Fast forward to modern day, and we have Vin (now shaven and bald) as a witch hunter. Is the he Last Witch Hunter? Well, I guess. Fact is, we never see any other Witch Hunters in the movie, so I have to suspect that he's the one and only and, therefore, the first and the last. Vin brings his trademark mumble-growl to the front, and he tries to act more than just be an action guy, but he really doesn't do much more than set up the next action scene, and those are fairly few and far between.
Michael Caine once said that he hit a low point in his career when he looked around and realized that he was doing a movie with Steven Seagal. I'm not sure that his career has progressed as far as it should have at this point. I mean, did he read this script first and think, "Yes, I need to add my gravitas to this movie"? Either way, he spends most of the movie not speaking to anyone, and that has to be a pretty easy acting gig. So, I guess it came down to a paycheck, and I can respect that to a point.
Michael plays the liaison to the special secret group in the church that helps Vin find witches and either kill them or bring them in. During the entire runtime of this movie, I think Vin brings in maybe two witches, if you include the guy who appears to be stalking him rather than the other way around. So, not much on the actual hunting front. Witches we have, though. We have the mysterious guy who Vin is hunting, the other guy he catches pretty quickly, some chick on a plane to set things up in the first place, and then we have the lovely Rose Leslie who inevitably becomes his girlfriend.
|We're here to kick as and get a paycheck|
and we'd rather not kick ass.
Also tossed in here is Michael's replacement liaison, Elijah Wood. He is surprisingly useless as a character, except as a plot device. He has peculiar tastes when it comes to making movies, so it's less surprising that he picked this movie. Still, I just don't know what to think about the choices these people make.
Acting was pretty good
Action was poorly shot
Story was very weak
Dialogue was bland
Direction was not good
Bottom Line: Not scary, not a lot of action, no real adventure, few witches, very little hunting, and nothing but big big stars as a reason to watch this at all.