‘The Last Witch Hunter’ movie review
By Lauren Paulsen, Senior Columnist
The Last Witch Hunter is about a man named Kaulder (Vin Diesel) who goes after the Witch Queen (Julie Engelbrecht) after her plague kills his wife and daughter during the Middle Ages. He manages to take her out, but she curses him with immortality because he no longer wants to live after completing his revenge. Fast forward to the present day, and Kaulder has now lived 800 years. Witches have formed a peace treaty with humans, but there are still some evil witches out there whom Kaulder hunts down. Throughout the years, Kaulder has had handlers who’ve aided him in his witch hunts. When his current handler, Dolan 36th (Michael Caine), suddenly dies, Kaulder finds it suspicious. He decides to look into it, and finds that dark magic is afoot.
The plot is fairly lacking and predictable, but I wouldn’t write this movie off altogether. The special effects were really amazing.—there were some disgustingly creepy monsters, as well as some beautiful magic moments. I also loved the witty banter between Diesel and Caine, especially finding it amusing that Diesel would call Caine “Kid.” I also found Diesel a lot more expressive than in his other movies. He still had his bad dude-vibe going on, but he seemed more vulnerable at parts than I have seen from his previous characters, such as Riddick.
As for the other actors, I really enjoyed Game of Thrones’ Rose Leslie’s portrayal of Chloe, Kaulder’s semi-love interest, and I felt that her acting was very solid. I liked her character a lot, although I did find one aspect of her character to be very convenient to the plot, but that’s the script-writer’s doing, not hers.
Elijah Wood also showed up in this movie, playing Dolan the 37th, but I was disappointed in his acting. His character felt shallow, and I didn’t really connect with him at any point.
As for Engelbrecht, this was her debut piece. We didn’t see a whole lot of her during the movie, but during the parts that we did, she did a really great job of being the creepy, decidedly evil Witch Queen. Also, congrats to the Witch Queen’s makeup team; her appearance certainly gave me the heebie-jeebies.
One thing that bothered me about this movie is the title. The Last Witch Hunter implies that Kaulder is now the only person who hunts witches. This is misleading, as there are other people who hunt them. It has a nice ring to it but doesn’t really fit the context here. Maybe I’m just nitpicking, but I feel that if they wanted to use this title, then the plot should have been altered somewhat. Maybe that’s my inner writer coming out.
Basically, if you are looking for a movie with lots of action and special effects, or if you’ve liked Diesel’s other movies, then this is one you should see. Don’t look for a very deep or intricate plot, though.