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The Last Witch Hunter (2015)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Breck Eisner

Starring:
Vin Diesel/Kaulder
Rose Leslie/Chloe
Elijah Wood/Dolan 37th
Michael Caine/Dolan 36th
5 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
In the olden days, a Viking witch Hunter (Diesel) kills a queen witch and in return is cursed with immortality. In present day, our “never-say-die” hero finds himself having to face the imminent return of that same witch. There can be only one! Ooops… wrong movie…
THE LOWDOWN

Look I love VIN DIESEL and adore the fantasy/horror genre but I can’t say that I was too pumped for THE LAST WITCH HUNTER. The trailer gave me Nam flashbacks of disposable genre fluff like I FRANKENSTEIN, SEASON OF THE WITCH, SEVENTH SON, PRIEST or DRACULA UNTOLD (ironically enough some of the writers of Witch Hunter also penned those last two films). Ya know the type of affair that is filled with “close shot heavy” action scenes, CGI overload and bloodless PG-13 friendly violence? Yeah, that kind. And now that I’ve seen Diesel's latest attempt at a launching a franchise, I’m saddened to say that my gut was right, it was EXACTLY the type of party I didn't want it to be. But the question is, was it worth my time and coin? Ummm… not really...

Looks like Diesel will have to go back to Dominic Toretto for further cinematic security cause I highly doubt this punch-in/punch-out McProduct will launch a new franchise. The opening weekend will tell! Although I was let down, the film did have some upsides. I grooved to the initial premise (HIGHLANDER meets... well…. Witches), the movie had clever moments (dug the investigation bits), it took me aback with "one" twist, some of the visuals (flashback scenes) and production designs hit the spot (loved the Queen Witch makeup) and the random humorous moments were welcomed. Moreover, although Vinnie D was cool shite in the lead (He did look a tad out of shape though, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but when you’re playing the action-man card –no ice cream and train dammit!), the lad was even better when the lovely ROSE LESLIE (as Chloe) was around. They shared a pleasant chemistry together and I found myself more involved in this one's shenanigans when they were both onscreen. NOTE: Michael Cain (playing Alfred…again) and Elijah Wood also gave commendable showcases. All class baby! END OF NOTE.  

Regrettably; other than that not much left an impression on me. Director Breck Eisner’s vibe on this one was very work-man like i.e. anybody could have directed it. Very cold and pedestrian. Story wise, the flick kept skimming over its more interesting story elements (like the ins and outs of the Hunter's guardians) and was at times convoluted, nothing too critical but my "duh" face did come to life at least twice. But I could have lived with all of that if at least the action delivered the goods. Nope! The fight scenes here were too few and far between and when they did go down, they were swift and shot in a "close-shot-can’t see much" manner. Call me old school, but I like wide shots in my fight scenes – I want to actually SEE what the f*ck is going on. I know, crazy right?! By result, I often found myself watching this baby in a detached manner, I didn’t really care one way or another as to what was gonna happen. As I came out of the theatre I pooped CGI on the sidewalk and craved to see Neil Marshal’s CENTURION again for some odd reason, I know random, it's just how I felt.

On the whole, THE LAST WITCH HUNTER was soulless and fairly un-inspired. I managed to get some kicks out of it none the less while clocking it but I will forget it quicker than you can say “What the f*ck was Highlander 2 all about?!” See it on disk or not at all...

GORE
Light blood and CG flies, worms and shit. Yeah, nothing.
T & A
Nothing to see here either! Move on!
BOTTOM LINE
THE LAST WITCH HUNTER sported a slick initial premise, was semi engaging throughout, it gunned out cool production designs, took me aback once and had a charming sense of humor. Vin Diesel and Rose Leslie made for a good pair and their interaction often saved the experience for me. Sadly, the thing was flatly directed, the action scenes were underwhelming and too swift, the violence was Romper-Room level and the script often glazed over its story, satisfied with playing a vaccuous game of connect the dots instead! When all was said and done, I can't say the film left much of an impression either way. Is it me or there seems to be an unwritten rule of middle finger up going around in Hollywood? The bigger the budget, the deader the heart. I'm not saying that applies to every big budget flick, but its frequent enough for me to notice. The Last Witch Hunter was an ideal case of that. All gloss - no thumper. Am done!
BULL'S EYE
Timur Bekmambetov was at first set to direct. Too bad that fell through - dude's visual style is nuts!

Rose Leslie was born on February 9 1987 in Aberdeen, Scotland.
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