Rated: PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images. Reviewed by: Frank Release date: October 23, 2015 Released by: Lions Gate Films
Vin Diesel begins his role as Kaulder the leader of a Witch killing band of tough guys 800 years a go. In his battle with the witch queen he is inflected with a curse that keeps him alive to roam the Earth eternally never to join his wife and daughter in the after life.
While Diesel looks and sounds the part of a tough guy battling the evil witches he performs in a stoic way which leaves no room for emotion or through. That may be part of the character but he looks that way in all of his work. On the other hand his somewhat willing partner Chloe played by Rose Leslie from Downtown Abbey is a Good Witch filled with emotion who joins him in his quest. Along for the ride are Dolan 36th (Michael Caine) and Dolan 37th (Elijah Wood). Thirty six and thirty seven are priests assigned to provide guidance to Kaulder because obviously the Catholic Church is opposed to witches.
The Queen Witch played by Julie Engelbrecht is first approached eight centuries before today in her lair that looks like the Tree of Life as Disney's Animal Kingdom but is filled with dark passages and sporadic flashes of light that surround the Evil Witch and her loyal followers. Engelbrecht can't be recognized from her publicity pictures because she is always shown in a corrupt damaged body made to be frightening to the witch hunters.
The move to modern day New York City has potential to bring the centuries old witch craft to the new world in America, but not much different happens that is different from the original battle. It is in a new place but except for a little more opulence around the Witches it's the same old thing. Danique played very effectively by Dawn Olivieri appears at a posh party with two stunning women at her side. She is ready to seduce the hunter and has all the tools to do so. But he quickly reveals her secret as a Witch and she soon is dissolved just as Dorian Gray in his picture.
While bugs and butterflies fill the air in a menacing fashion Michael Caine's Dolan 36th falls in to a near death coma and Dolan 37th takes over, after that we see very little of Caine. Elijah Wood fills in at 37th but is not as tough or as knowledgeable as his predecessor.
We are expected to have sympathy for Kaulder, after all he can't die, but he does fill his time when not killing witches with female flight attendants and riding in a very expensive sports car. As time goes by he adds Chloe to his list of close friends she even gets to travel the streets of NYC driving his precious vehicle.
Very little appears new in this script, it is also a little confusing attempting to determine which Witch is a good Witch or a bad Witch they all look pretty good in New York. The special effects overcome Vin Diesel performance and even though some good Witches face death or conversion there is little for us to care about. This should be The Last Witch Hunter film.
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