Movie Review: The Last Witch Hunter
Riding off his Furious 7 high, Vin Diesel is back in theaters giving us what could be a fresh new fun franchise to dominate the cinemas…..or maybe he’ll go back to Fast 8. The Last Witch Hunter is one of those films where the trailers made me actually excited to go out and see it, but once the first reviews were being sent out I was starting to lose my excitement. On the Vin Diesel scale, which mind you is pretty small, this movie is either trash or dumb fun with fans usually split between the two. For me, I fell in the middle.
What I do have to applaud The Last Witch Hunter with is that the story had lots of potentials. A warrior from times of old who was getting revenge on a witch who had killed his family is cursed with eternal life, even though it looked like Vin was having the time of his life being 800 years old, and thus he’s humanities secret weapon when it comes to things that bump in the night. To my surprise, the story had maybe three surprise twists that could have been really great. I thought that the twists could work and that they were in the right direction, but one of the two things that really make this film cringe worthy is the fact that the script was all over the place. They should have had at least five to ten more rewrites before starting to film, but alas I feel like this movie was rushed too much. The story kept introducing interesting elements, but it was like they didn’t realize just how interesting it was, so they ended up focusing on cliche scenes you could see in any movie.
Another part of the film that I was really worried about was the acting. Now, I know Vin Diesel isn’t the best actor, but he’s at least enjoyable in films. And, you have Michael Caine and Elijah Wood, and even they didn’t put a lot of effort into it. Although, Michael Caine did say this was only for the money, and Elijah Wood was the best actor, but again they were barely in the movie. The movie decided to go “witches aren’t all bad, and the main protagonist falls in love with one” route which isn’t bad, but it just felt like there were too many plot lines to follow. Which again, if you’ve seen the film the most interesting character is Elijah Wood, and instead of focusing on his relationship with Vin Diesel, which would have made the movie five times better and more sensible, they decided to go down that cliche route where every movie has it.
What redeemed the movie, at least a little, were the visuals and the music. Two minutes into this film I immediately recognized the fact that the music is ten times better than the film. But to be fair it is composed by the great Steve Jablonsky who I really wish will stop picking these types of films and Michael Bay films to compose. He has so much talent that I feel he’s wasting it. Nevertheless, the music is what captivated me into the story the most, and really made me stay in the theater. The visuals are heavy with CGI, but this was never going to be a film that had stunning CGI to begin with. I actually very much enjoyed the CGI places, because they really captured me into a magical world.
Overall, The Last Witch Hunter is not a great film, and can be very easily argued as not being a good film, but I did enjoy parts of the movie and I saw a lot of potential in the story that I didn’t hate it. The acting was poorly done, the script had a lot of things to work out and didn’t really know what parts of the film to focus on. If they do another film, and they either clean up the script or get better writers, then I’ll definitely see it because what Vin Diesel brings to all his movies is at least enjoyable moments that make the experience slightly worth it.