Vin Diesel is an immortal in The Last Witch Hunter.

Vin Diesel is an immortal in The Last Witch Hunter.

Reel Reviews: Vin Diesel stirs a witch’s brew

Taylor and Howe say, “The Last Witch Hunter is more fun than you might think."

  • Oct. 30, 2015 6:00 p.m.

After losing his wife and daughter, a medieval witch hunter named Kaulder (Vin Diesel) makes it his goal to destroy the evil Witch Queen and her coven. In the process, Kaulder is cursed to live forever by the Witch Queen.

Hundreds of years later, Kaulder still walks the earth, keeping modern witches in line. When his church liaison, Dolan the 36th (Michael Caine), is placed under a deathlike spell, his replacement, Dolan the 37th (Elijah Wood), helps Kaulder stop the return of the Witch Queen.

We say, “The Last Witch Hunter is more fun than you might think.”

TAYLOR: I wasn’t looking forward to this, but I was pleasantly surprised. The movie is technically proficient, has a reasonable plot (for a fantasy film) and fine performances. I was somewhat shocked to find Vin Diesel so likeable. His witch hunter character, although strong and capable, was gentle, calm, and friendly.

I always like Michael Caine and the other performers also did nothing to annoy. The magic was colourful and sparkly. On the whole, I think fans of whimsical works and action flicks might find The Last Witch Hunter an apt marriage of the two.

HOWE: I agree. I think fans of fantasy movies will enjoy this, but I found it a little too happy. We reviewed Seventh Son last year and that was too dark. The Last Witch Hunter is too light. I am just waiting for some Goldilocks producers to get it just right. When Vin Diesel smiled it looked fake and a little creepy/scary in some parts. Caine seems to be playing the same roles nowadays, an assistant to the hero, steering him towards the greater good. Then to top it all off, they throw in Elijah Wood, who looks like he hasn’t aged since the Rings trilogy. I wonder if he still has his Precious helping with that?

TAYLOR: I can’t believe I’m defending Vin Diesel, but for some reason he won me over in this picture. However, do not be mistaken, this is still a very silly thing, in a world of silly things. However, it has a plot, it makes sense and for a fantasy film, doesn’t ask much of its audience. Every bad review of The Last Witch Hunter only disparages the film’s lacklustre box office gains. I predict it will develop a small following of dedicated nerds. It’s not great, but it is in no way bad. Between this and Pan, I’ll take the former, on a Tuesday.

HOWE: The special effects are very good; the Witch Queen looked beautifully disturbing. Yet they didn’t take advantage of 3D. We have complained in the past of the over use of 3D in movies that don’t need it, but The Last Witch Hunter would have been perfect for it. The clash of sword against axe with sparks dancing and jumping off the screen would have given it a little more oomph.

– Taylor gives The Last Witch Hunter 3.5 spells out of 5.

– Howe gives it 3 Bic Biros out of 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe’s Reel Reviews appears in The Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.