Over 800 years ago, a group of warriors and Clergy set off on a journey to destroy a witch and her minions in her lair. The witch had unleashed a plague upon the human race and she was determined to wipe them from the face of the planet.
During the battle, the witch is defeated but with her dying breath, she curses the one who vanquished her to a life of eternity, destined to be alone and never know peace.
Flash forward to modern day New York, and we find that man is now an elite Witch Hunter named Kaulder (Vin Diesel), who toils his trade working for a group who along with Witches maintain the peace. The Witches promise not to practice their craft against humans and in turn they are left alone. But when one does not follow the rules or is a threat to humanity, Kaulder and his ability to heal from injury via his immortality is dispatched to dispense justice.
When his Dolan (Michael Caine) is found dead the day after he retires, Koulder and his new Dolan (Elijah Wood), set out to find the Witch who is responsible which in turn leads to a discovery that his former Dolan is not dead but deeply cursed. In a race against time, Koulder must find the Witch who issues the curse and make an uneasy alliance with a witch named Chloe (Rose Leslie) to get to the bottom of a mystery darker and more deadly than they could have ever imagined.
One would think with the presence of Diesel and the interesting premise of the film, “The Last Witch Hunter”, would be more than it is. The film sadly plods along and has no real tension or surprises and at times, plays out more like a direct to DVD release or something one would find on cable late at night. I think the presence of Diesel is what got the film a theatrical release but one would hope with such a fine supporting cast it would have been better.
That is not to say the film is bad, as it was better than I thought it would be, but sadly as it went along, it simply failed to deliver on the potential of the premise.
In many ways I see this like “Hansel and Gretel” in that it will likely play better to the foreign market but after the total box office, DVD, and Pay Per View are factored in, do not be shocked if a second outing for the characters arrives someday as Diesel has shown a fondness for franchise characters.
For now the film is a decent distraction and offers entertainment as long as you set your expectations accordingly.
3 stars out of 5.