FILM REVIEW – ‘THE LAST WITCH HUNTER’ (2015)

The Last Witch Hunter stars Vin Diesel (Fast and Furious franchise, Guardians of the Galaxy) as Kaulder, a 14th century warrior from, I’m guessing, Sweden given the frozen opening and Viking-esq attire. He is charged with the duty of killing the Witch Queen who has cursed the world with the Black Death. As he strikes the death blow to the evil queen, played by Julie Englebrecht (Before the Fall), she curses him with immortality. Not really much of a curse to some, and this curse allows Kaulder to spend his immortal days killing witches.

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As the time goes by, though, the hunting and killing of witches changes to keeping them in line and punishing the ones who use dark magic to hurt others. The witches of the world, according to Kaulder, have lost touch with the true power of their abilities. Kaulder is watched over by Dolans of the Catholic church (big shock there) who work for the order of the Sword and Cross. The 36th Dolan is played by Michael Caine (The Dark Knight trilogy) who is retiring to be replaced by the 37th Dolan, played by Elijah Wood (LOTR franchise).

The story starts to pick up quickly with the murder of the 36th Dolan by Ellic (Joseph Gilgun, Lockout) who is working with a rogue warlock, Belial (Ólafur Darrin Ólafsson, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) who is intent on raising the Witch Queen and destroying non magic humans. Kaulder is unaware of Belial’s intent, as he has some pertinent information has been kept from him by his handlers. In his quest to find the 35th Dolan’s death, Kaulder enlists the reluctant aid of a witch, Chloe, played by Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey). Kaulder has to keep her alive while she helps him search for the answers he seeks.

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This movie was pretty darn awesome. Vin Diesel, being the huge D&D (Dungeons & Dragons) nerd that he is, probably loved getting the chance to bring his character to life. He played and excellent witch hunter. Troubled by his past, but comfortable with his future. I like that his past only handicapped him in his dream state but didn’t really stop him from living. As the story focuses mainly on him and Leslie’s character, with all the others playing secondary roles, this movie moved along quickly and with very entertaining results. A few chuckle moments, a lot of action, and believable dialogue delivered by skilled actors made for an excellent movie.

The special effects were astounding. I couldn’t see a single flaw in them. Everything came across as very real, including the sentinel to the witch prison. Beautifully done.

The Bottom Line:
Overall, The Last Witch Hunter is a must see. Diesel delivers a stellar performance, aided by an excellent supporting cast. The story was well written, and all of the acting was wonderfully done. I’m giving it an 8 only because some of the important fight scenes were too dark to see from the side seat I had been given. Highly recommended for this Halloween season, and well worth picking up on DVD/BluRay when it comes out. – 8.0/10

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-Hannah Collins
Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine

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