The Last Witch Hunter (2015) Poster

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Oliver Boltovski22 October 2015
I didn't expect much from this movie. In fact, the only reason why I went to watch it was because of Vin Diesel.

It's another one of those Hollywood cliché filled movies. Don't expect much of a storyline other than bad things happened to my family, I became a witch hunter, defied death and killed witches. It's just filled with moments you know exactly how they're going to turn out if you've seen any other movie from Hollywood.

The visual effects were good enough. And the actors played their role. The plot has so much potential. Something like knights of the round table dedicated to incarcerating witches for using black magic. It's a nice idea but poorly executed since the idea is crushed half way into the movie.

Go see it if you like 21st century shotgun + sword action and Vin Diesel. Otherwise stay way from it.
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Not-so-typical witches-hunter
Quebec_Dragon22 October 2015
Besides short segments taking place in the Middle Ages and another on a plane, this supernatural flick takes place in modern New York. We have Vin Diesel's character, Kaulder, a man who lost his family due to witches, still alive after 800 years and still hunting them. One would think that Kaulder would be a stereotypical stoic, somber, asocial killing machine, but such is not quite the case. I was pleasantly surprised to find Vin Diesel more smiling and "human" than usual. In fact, on more than one occasion, his hero actually showed restraint and compassion, which was quite refreshing. After that Middle-Ages intro, I thought all the witches would be evil, despicable, one-dimensional creatures (which would have been boring) but then again, I was fooled as we actually delved more into the modern witch community.

As far as story goes, despite the seemingly cliché setup, I'd say it was stronger than usual for that kind of supernatural-action film with a few good twists I didn't see coming. The special effects were rather good and I especially liked how the magic was so nature-oriented (as it should be for witches). One of the neatest places was that bar with the subtle light magic. I also liked the design of the old witches and that bone sentinel. There was visual stuff there I hadn't actually seen before or at least a dozen times over. Unfortunately, I found the action scenes somewhat weak in general. I know that close-in fighting is supposed to be messy and chaotic but the cuts here were sometimes so poorly done I had trouble knowing what was happening. Thankfully, it's never as bad as in that first fight in the past, and it does get better as the film goes on. So don't go in expecting to be thrilled too much by the quality of the action.

Surrounding the more-emotional-than-usual Diesel, there's actually a pretty decent cast including Michael Caine (always classy), Elijah Wood (amusing and solid) and Rose Leslie, that redhead wild woman from Game of Thrones. For me, she was the highlight acting-wise and elevated everything up a dramatic notch. As for the directing, besides the poor action and annoying flares, it was competent but not particularly memorable. The "dream" visions were nice, but then they usually are. I saw this at a preview screening and there wasn't much crowd reaction, however it should be noted that the film kept my (very) jaded interest throughout. I didn't have trouble with the pacing or story confusion as other reviewers did. I actually found the world of the Last Witch Hunter somewhat intriguing and enjoyable.

Rating: 7 out of 10 (good)
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The Last Witch Hunter casts many mismatched fantasy gimmicks like a desperate magician, lacking identity and any real magic.
quincytheodore23 October 2015
Say what you will about Vin Diesel, the guy has performed a variety of roles. From the famous furious action series, sci-fi, family comedy and even the lesser known crime drama, he's a legitimate blockbuster draw. However, in his recent fantasy escapade, he's bogged down by the same flaws from Constantine and even Van Helsing; far too much stylish fireworks and lacking any real focus on narrative.

The Last Witch Hunter tells the story of Kaulder, an immortal who hunts witches for centuries. Straight from the first act, the movie tries to jam as many expositions as possible while panning through myriad of hidden exotic locations practically every five minutes. It feels like a rushed tour of New York and none of CGI view made lasting impression.

This is a missed opportunity since the occult version of modern city is teeming with potential. Other movies, even comic books and video games have used this premise to captivate audience effectively. The screenplay could've showcased the mythology with calm pace and imaginative scenery, yet the movie abruptly shifts between uninspiring random clubs, which makes the entire environment seems generic.

It doesn't have to be Hellboy 2 level of sophistication, but the lore available feels terribly underutilized. Visual is mostly crafted with CG, and the action is mediocre with crude choreography. Underneath the cosmetic spells, the production value feels simply average, far too similar to Constantine from last decade.

This rushed pace is also translated to the characters, which appear like random strangers meshed together and suddenly given strange development. This is not on Vin Diesel alone, the movie has good acting prowess with Elijah Wood and Michael Caine, among others, however the characters are nothing more than stereotypical eccentric magicians or familiar villain. At some points it even looks like some cop procedural series with awkward buddy gimmick.

Lastly, Vin Diesel himself isn't that convincing even though he's groomed for superhero epic. In fact, he fared much better as Riddick, at least he had an identity as the stealthy assassin. While as Kaulder he's just another grunting protagonist despite the presentable physique or the grand attire.

The Last Witch Hunter is a fantasy foray filled with shallow parlor tricks and incompatible hero in Vin Diesel. It had potential to be spectacular, but the shoddy presentation only offers pedestrian exhibition.
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I actually really liked it.
judderwocky7 November 2015
This movie has garnered a lot of criticism, and to be honest, I'm a little surprised. The plot and CGI were good. The acting and casting was excellent. Some parts of the movie felt really similar to The Exorcist II (Boorman), and I appreciated the lucidity and metaphysics embedded in the plot. I felt like the scene changes and juxtaposing modern/mythical images did a good job of sliding the viewer into the otherworldliness of the script. Most of the criticism seemed to revolve around expectations of Vin Diesels performance. The Character is written tersely for a reason. Why do people expect someone to be Shakespeare, simply because they lived 800 years. That experience might make some people very quiet, and I found Vin Diesel's interpretation believable and appropriate. He isn't portrayed as a scholar or wizard: just a good man who happens to be cursed. Frankly, I don't think most of these people would have been happy with a 20 min monologue by Alan Rickman. The movie was a good fantasy/action movie with some clever plot elements and creative representations of traditional magical elements.
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Great special effects, average plot, good movie!
casealessandro30 October 2015
This modern revisit of the witch-legend is not actually a bad movie. I mean it won't be the "film of the year" but, if you are looking for some nice special effects and a little bit of action, this film will help you pass a nice evening!

I found it enjoyable and not too long, and moreover, Vin Diesel is good for this part. He always give his best in this kind of "badass" character (Riddick, Fast and Furious).

If I had to point out something not good about this movie I would say that is too stereotyped, especially in the end, but, in the end, I think it's worth spending 10$ to see it!
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The Witch Hunter and the Witch Queen
Claudio Carvalho7 February 2016
In the Middle Ages, the witch hunter Kaulder (Vin Diesel) hunts down the Witch Queen (Julie Engelbrecht) with the inhabitants of towns devastated by the black plague that she had spread.. The Witch Queen curses Kaulder with eternal life to make him suffer the loss of his wife and daughter for the eternity.

Eight hundred years later, there is a balance in the world and the witches live peacefully among humans. The witch hunter Kauder and The Axe and Cross that judges and imprisons witches in the darkness are the responsible for keeping the world in peace. The priest Dolan 36th (Michael Caine) is the liaison between The Axe and Cross and Kauder, giving support and keeping the record of his life. On the same day of his retirement, Dolan 36th dies alone in his apartment. Kauder goes to his apartment with Dolan 37th (Elijah Wood) to investigate his death and finds black magic in the spot. Further, he finds that Dolan 36th is still alive under a powerful spell. Now Kauder visits the witch Chloe (Rose Leslie), who owns a witch bar, to seek her help to recall his own death following clues left by Dolan 36th. However the bar is attacked and destroyed by the witch Beliel (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson) and Kauder leaves Chloe under his protection. When she uses her abilities to help Kauder, he learns a dreadful secret about his immortality.

"The Last Witch Hunter" is an entertaining fantasy with lots of action and special effects. The excellent cast with Michael Caine, Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie and Elijah Wood give pedigree to the adventure. The conclusion is prepared for a sequel with Kauder's discovery. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "O Último Caçador de Bruxas" ("The Last Witch Hunter")
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Refreshing fantasy fiction!
redtailmm2 November 2015
Both my wife and I really enjoyed this movie. It is character and plot driven. It does not rely on excessive violence, cheesy sex scenes, or gratuitous skin to sell tickets.

What you get is engaging performances from Diesel, Leslie, Wood, and Caine, a murder mystery, and a compelling fantasy action-drama. The effects and scenes are beautifully created and shot.

As fans of the fantasy genre, we loved the sword and sorcery aspects of the movie, blended with mystery, spiritualism, teamwork, and high concept story telling.

This is my first Vin Diesel movie. I liked the way he played the character of Kaulder as a man with complex and layered emotions. I expected bravado and machismo, but instead got a man of depth and quality.

I cannot say enough good things about the scenes with the Witch Queen, both when she first curses Kaulder with immortality, and at the end during the climactic battle with Kaulder. I really appreciated that the movie villain was not completely evil, but rather had motives that makes it clear why she acts as she does.

I am looking forward to seeing it again on BluRay!
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While Vin Diesel is hunting for witches, you might be hunting for some sense
mlaimlai215 November 2015
If Vin Diesel is planning to star in another franchise after the successes of The Fast and the Furious and Riddick, he has another think coming. There is a fair bit of action that makes use of Diesel's physical presence but the movie is bogged down in expository dialogue and a story that is incomprehensible at times. It also doesn't help when the majority of the film is set at night with quite a few of the action scenes being difficult to see.

Kaulder (Vin Diesel) is an 800 year old warrior whose main goal in life is to rid the world of witches. Just before he succeeds in eliminating the Witch Queen (Julie Engelbrecht), she curses him with immortality. We next see him in present day where he is still fighting the evil forces, this time with a priest bestowed with the title of Dolan 36th (Michael Caine). Realising that he can't continue forever unlike his immortal friend, Dolan 36th introduces Kaulder to another priest in Dolan 37th (Elijah Wood) who will take over the reigns as Kaulder's sidekick. Joining them is a good witch named Chloe (Rose Leslie), otherwise known as a dream walker.

Vin Diesel has a limited acting range but makes use of it in this type of role where he is the action hero although he's not as convincing as he is in the Fast and the Furious series. That's probably because the wisecracks are funnier and the character of Dominic Toretto is more fleshed out. Two time Oscar winner Michael Caine has a small role and is in a coma for most of the film. He once said of his Jaws 4: The Revenge role that the house that Jaws built was terrific so the role of Dolan 37th must have financed his holidays. Elijah Wood displays his dramatic abilities and is involved in a twist which is preposterous.

The editing is fast and furious at times which makes it difficult to focus on what's happening in the action sequences. They seem to be well-choreographed with the exemplary sound effects bringing the fight scenes to life. Most of the visual effects are of the CGI variety and make a solid contribution to the look of the film. No matter how successful or unsuccessful a film is with the technological side of things, if the story is inferior like it is in this film, the overall impact suffers. There is a lack of tension for this particular genre and if you can remember the majority of the film after seeing it, you're doing much better than I am.

The Last Witch Hunter is a forgettable movie that has better action sequences than plot lines and dialogue. Vin Diesel has shown in the past that he can carry a movie, just not this one. The box office reception suggests that he should stick to the Fast and the Furious franchise.
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Terrible "film".
Hydroo24 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The Last Witch Hunter looks like a pointless mix of "Blade" (very cool), "Hellboy" (very very cool), "The Highlander" (classic), "Constantine" (very good), "The Priest" (worse), "Max Payne" (worst) and the other Gothic-, horror- and fantasy-like movies. The main problem is that the authors put some boring CGI in every scene for no reason. The second is the cast: it is hard to imagine Vin Diesel in the role of a 800-year old immortal hunter. To be honest: the start is hopeful (thanks to the "13th warrior"...). In the intense first scene he's wearing some badass hair, beard and costume, but in the rest of the movie he is more looking like some Armani-model from a fashion show. He is talking, walking and acting like Dom Toretto. Which means his suffering is unbelievable too. Despite I think Vin is a likable actor and I've really liked him as Riddick. But this character just isn't his type. The others - the young witch, the old witch, the young priest, the old priest - and the whole imaginary world are totally sketchy. Even if they've tried to copy a lot of computer games (for example The last of Us) the result is awful. Very colorful and nice-looking, but empty. And finally: the writers and the script. There is no need for words... The only good thing about the film is Michael Caine: he is funny and good as always. I have a question to the director (the guy who directed the impressive The crazies) Breck Eisner: Why did you do this and why?! You're not Uwe Boll, so stop doing this! No offense. ;)
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Hex-Rated Rubbish!!!
zardoz-132 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
"The Last Witch Hunter" casts spells that are far from inspired and mediocre at best. "Dungeons & Dragons" aficionado Vin Diesel toplines this ponderous, PG-13 rated pabulum as an 800-year old protagonist who struggles with the help of the Catholic Church to preserve a precarious peace between witches and mankind. Not only does Diesel appear incredibly miscast as an immortal "Highlander" type medieval warrior careening around contemporary New York City in a sports car, but also this witchy washy yarn doesn't surpass superior witchcraft fantasies such as "Snow White and The Huntsman" (2012) and "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" (2013). The chief problem with this lavishly-produced, CGI-laden extravaganza is that it takes itself far too seriously. Apart from its dire shortage of humor, this dreary potboiler suffers from a dearth of quotable dialogue, banal adversaries, and second-rate supporting characters. Gifted thespians like Oscar-winner Michael Caine and Elijah Wood shrivel in lackluster roles as our hero's sidekicks who are designated as 'Dolans.' "Sahara" director Breck Eisner and three scenarists, Cory Goodman of "Priest" along with Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless of "Dracula Untold," have conjured up a synthetic storyline that generates neither charisma nor spectacle. Actually, they appear to have imitated the sensational Wesley Snipes' vampire saga "Blade" right down to its rebirth of an ancient blood demon. Similarly, "The Last Witch Hunter" should have bristled with non-stop momentum, violently outlandish combat sequences, and a coherently contrived mythology. Instead, it degenerates into a dreary mumbo-jumbo melodrama. The most ambitious CGI scene pits our hero against a clumsy beast known as 'the Sentinel,' and he destroys behemoth with a sword as if he were a bullfighter straddling it. This unruly creature resembles a huge tiger that appears as it if were assembled from wicker and features a jet engine afterburner for its gullet. Our hero's chief adversary is a hideous Witch Queen swarming with creepy crawlies who looks like she has spent too many centuries in a mud bath. Moreover, she boasts none of the imaginative flamboyance of Charlize Theron's enchantress in "Snow White and the Huntsman."

"The Last Witch Hunter" unfolds during the chilly Middle Ages. A group of stalwart souls armed with swords trudge through snow-swept, mountainous terrain to storm an eerie cluster of haunted trees. A despicable looking dame known as the Witch Queen (Julie Engelbrecht of the TV mini-series "The Strain") inhabits this stronghold raging with fire and brimstone. Predictably, she isn't glad to see these bearded gate-crashers with their religious iconography. This homicidal hag with her hatred for mankind has already decimated humanity with a black plague and incurred our hero's wrath. The Witch Queen's pestilence exterminated our hero's wife and daughter, and his happier times with them are recounted in several flashbacks. When Kaulder (Vin Diesel with dwarfish dreadlocks) and the Witch Queen tangle, our fearless witch hunter skewers her with his flaming sword and finishes her off. Ironically, Kaulder survives this trial by combat, but his survival becomes a tribulation. "I curse you," howls the wounded witch. "You'll never know peace. You will never die."

Afterward, "The Last Witch Hunter" shifts its setting from the 13th century to the 21st century. Our brawny, shaven-headed hero with neither dwarfish facial fuzz nor noggin fur prowls a passenger jet as it encounters foul weather. Actually, an ignorant young witch has smuggled a dangerous collection of runes aboard the aircraft, and she is to blame for the increment weather. Naturally, our erudite hero invokes his age-old wisdom and defuses these volatile artifacts. Nothing about this scene creates either suspense or excitement. As his own personal reward, Kaulder seduces a nubile stewardess before he sits down for the last time with his 36th Dolan (Michael Caine of "The Dark Knight"), a revered Catholic cleric who has spent the last 50 years chronicling our protagonist's escapades for posterity. Incidentally, Dolans are members of a covert Axe and Cross society within the Catholic Church. Like Kaulder, they have devoted themselves to maintaining an uneasy truce between humans and witches. In "The Last Witch Hunter," witches walk the earth with mankind, just as vampires did in "Blade," but few people know about their phantasmagorical presence. Kaulder and the clerics act as intermediaries who work alongside the crafty Witch Counsel to keep these necromancers in line. Kaulder captures witches who illegally practice black magic, and the Witch Counsel entomb them in a maze of caves.

The 36th Dolan is poised to retire, and the 37th Dolan (Elijah Wood of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy) prepares to replace him. Although he saved the 37th Dolan from a coven of witches, Kaulder doesn't immediately recognize this newcomer. Meantime, dramatic complications occur when the 36th Dolan appears to have been murdered under mysterious circumstances by a shape-shifting sorcerer. Kaulder discovers black magic at the scene of the crime and suspects that his ancient adversary, the Witch Queen, may have been playing possum all those years. Along the way, Kaulder recruits a 'good' witch Chloe (Rose Leslie from "Game of Thrones") to help him sort out the mystery. Chloe's claim to fame is her ability to cavort in dreams. Happily, she rescues Kaulder from one disastrous dream after another when the Witch Queen's evil cronies attack him on several occasions. Our hero believes the solution to his quandary lies within his "Matrix" like dreams.

Ultimately, "The Last Witch Hunter" is largely incomprehensible gobbledygook. Eisner and his scribes have enormous problems mapping out their complex witchcraft mythology. They sprinkle bread crumbs of information about these conjurers throughout the muddled melodramatics, but seldom does anything about them come across as palatable. Two surprises occur during these sluggish shenanigans, but neither are genuine revelations if you have paid attention to the formulaic plot. The villains don't stand out from the background, and the Witch Queen is stuck in the mud from the start. Eisner orchestrates several big-budget action scenes, but these emerge as sloppy exercises. Altogether, "The Last Witch Hunter" qualifies as hex-rated rubbish.
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