The Last Witch Hunter, film review: Nifty special effects but a messy plot

(12A)​ Breck Eisner, 106 mins. Starring: Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood, Michael Caine

Geoffrey Macnab
Thursday 22 October 2015 23:47
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Continuing quest: The film features grunting warriors tussling with witch queens
Continuing quest: The film features grunting warriors tussling with witch queens

The Last Witch Hunter is an unwieldy mishmash, pitched between sword-and-sorcery epic and modern-day action movie. The film begins with grunting warriors in snowy, ancient times, tussling with witch queens. One bold and hirsute knight, Kaulder (Vin Diesel), is cursed by a dying sorceress with eternal life.

Fast-forward 800 years and Kaulder, minus the hair, is living in 21st-century Manhattan. Priest Michael Caine (a cross between Alfred the butler and Max von Sydow in The Exorcist) is his assistant, the so-called "Dolan", in his continuing quest against witches and their runes.

The film flits around in all sorts of directions. However, Vin Diesel is his usual genial, kick-ass self, not outwardly any more disconcerted by the forces of evil than he is by dangerous driving in The Fast and the Furious. The special effects are nifty but the plotting is both messy and preposterous.

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