The Last Witch Hunter Blu-ray Review
Even though Vin Diesel has made a name for himself playing the macho tough guy Dominic Toretto in the Fast and Furious films, deep down inside he’s a nerdy fanboy like the rest of us. So after failing to jam the Riddick franchise down our throats, Diesel has moved from science fiction to the supernatural with THE LAST WITCH HUNTER. Unfortunately for Diesel, this isn’t the film to prove he can find success outside the Furious franchise. But I can’t blame it all on Vin Diesel. He wasn’t so bad and listening to his deep voice throughout the film is never the worst way to spend an evening, but even his dulcet tones couldn’t save this one. The most positive thing I can say about THE LAST WITCH HUNTER was that we were able to see Rose Leslie in something other than GAME OF THRONES, though I think even she would have been more entertaining if she would have used her Wildlings accent and thrown in a couple of “you know nothing, Jon Snow” lines in there.
THE LAST WITCH HUNTER follows Kaulder (Vin Diesel), a former Viking (or Viking-like warrior) who stopped The Witch Queen (Julie Engelbrecht) many years ago and was cursed with immortality. Through the last couple of centuries he has fought the bad witches and kept humanity safe with the help of various Dolans (who are representatives from the Roman Catholic Church). When Dolan 36 (Michael Caine) is cursed, Kaulder vows to find out who was responsible with the help of a local witch named Chloe (Rose Leslie).
THE LAST WITCH HUNTER is a film that doesn’t seem so bad after you watch it, but as time rolls on you realize how silly and run of the mill it really is. In a film like this the lead character should be charismatic and the audience should be rooting for him the entire time to protect humanity and eradicate the evil forces while still saving his own soul. Unfortunately, Vin Diesel isn’t really the guy for that job. He has a schtick and he does it well, but no matter how many FAST AND FURIOUS films he makes he will never be a charismatic A-list star to me. He did a fine job with what he was given, but he played the character with little emotion and the little emotion he did have to display felt forced and fake.
THE LAST WITCH HUNTER had other problems beside Vin Diesel, like the plot that had a twist which could be seen within the first fifteen minutes. The supporting cast of Michael Caine, Rose Leslie and Elijah Wood did fine, but none of them made the audience root for their characters. If any harm came to any of them (no spoilers here!) it wouldn’t have mattered to anyone because they all felt two-dimensional.
Although THE LAST WITCH HUNTER wasn’t as bad as I had expected it to be, it’s still a film saddled with predictability and numerous frustrations. There is nothing special about the film and maybe the worst thing you can say about a film with witches and supernatural heroes is that it was boring. The whole thing feels familiar with nothing new to add and there are numerous TV shows and movies that have explored similar themes much more efficiently.
Video: This is a very dark and mostly colorless film and at times, the video quality lacks. But that’s not so much from the transfer, but more because of how it was filmed.
Audio: The audio was fine.
Commentary with Director Breck Eisner: An informative piece from Breck Eisner, he gives a lot of interesting facts about the film, worth watching if you enjoyed the film.
Crafting the Magic: The Last Witch Hunter (30:19): Cast and crew interviews and you’re typical “making of feature” fare.
Animated Short Films: The Origins of the Axe and Cross (9:51): Four short films that are narrated by Michael Caine.
The Last Witch Hunter Sizzle Reel/Paint It, Black (1:35): A trailer like promo played to a version of the song. A bit unnecessary.