“Heh. Yeah, so I saw this one. I hadn’t really planned to. I saw the trailer once and was unimpressed. Not to mention that I’m still haunted by such fantasy disasters as I Frankenstein and others that I purposely avoided. But I am a fan of Vin Diesel (especially when playing Riddick, XXX, or Dominic Toretto), and I know that he’s a closet D&D fan, which this film was said to draw from. That would suggest he’d actually put some effort into this movie, instead of phoning it in, which is often the downfall of the genre. So I kept it on my radar, never really expecting to go. And then the weekend’s movie schedule came out, and it perfectly lined up with my one must movie of the week, esp since this would be a before noon discount show. What the heck, how bad can it be? Worst case scenario, I force myself to take a nap mid-movie to make it go quicker (which is how I got thru both Tusk and Tomorrowland).
The opening scene played out, and I was preemptively rolling my eyes, and then I realized I could kinda get behind it. Move on to the next scene, hey there’s Michael Caine! Really? Huh, maybe there was some divine intervention in the movie schedule. Next scene, Elijah Wood?! Okay, God really did intend for me to see it.
Diesel plays Kaulder, a man who was part of a witch hunting party 800 years ago, after having lost everyone he loved or cared about. He kills the witch responsible for the Black Plague, who curses him with immortality in return. Fast forward to the present, after centuries spent fighting evil, and he encounters a big bad who may be linked to that first bad witch.
I’m not going to say this is a good movie, by any stretch. I will say that I had a good time, though. I’m sure a big part of that is simply due to the low expectations game. At some point, I think I also subconsciously made the decision not to judge the movie, which helped. Because I wasn’t thinking too hard about what was happening, I could kinda go with it. Yes, the third act was a mess of special effects and little substance. Yes, there were some questionable decisions made along the way, both by the characters and the film makers. For this moment in time, that was all okay. I could let my dork side take over and enjoy the experience. Unless you’re a fan of this genre, approach with caution, if at all. But if you can dig this sort of thing, it’s not the worst use of your time. You might just have a hard time admitting in public that you’ve seen this.
The Last Witch Hunter – \m/ \m/ \m/”