The Last Witch Hunter - Watch out for the queen of the flies - 1.5 stars

Do you know what its like to live forever? 

Walking into the cinema...
Can Vin Diesel start up another franchise that does not involve fast cars and explosions?  

Russelling Reviews Rating: 1.5 stars      

          In the 1300’s, the Black Plague ravaged the continent of Europe and people attempted to find the reason behind this black death. One of the considerations was found in the supernatural, specifically blaming the disease on the work of witches. The Last Witch Hunter finds its origins in a band of hunters who want to find and destroy the leader of the occult, the Witch Queen (). Amongst the small army of hunters is Kaulder (Vin Diesel), the man whose work ultimately leads to the defeat of the leader of this marauding hoard of demonic figures. During the battle between good and evil, Kaulder is cursed by the Witch Queen and is left to roam the earth as an immortal. He is charged to continue the battle against the remaining witches into the modern era. During the ensuing centuries a treaty has been struck between humanity and the witches. The Witch Hunter is aided by a secret band of priests called the Dolans, who work with him to capture, prosecute and sentence witches who break with the treaty. The story begins during a transition period for the Dolan priests. As these holy men age, they retire and turn over their service responsibilities of Kaulder to the next generation. During this process, number 36 (Michael Caine) is murdered, which leads Kaulder and number 37 (Elijah Wood) to search for the perpetrator of the crime. In the process, they uncover a dark plan to resurrect the Witch Queen and to bring the world under her demonic control.
        The Last Witch Hunter’s premise and lead character, Kaulder, have the potential for a multitude of future adventures, but that is where the accolades end. In the right hands this could have been the next money making franchise for Vin Diesel, but this project was not put into the right hands. Director Breck Eisner (Sahara) delivers a dark and lethargic story that fails to provide any cinematic magic. The first of many issues with this cinematic outing is the lead actor. Diesel is at his best when surrounded with a dynamic entourage of characters that help to provide a balance to his droll delivery. Eisner does surround the gravelly-voiced actor with a multitude of talent, but it is not enough to energise this sluggish tale of sorcery. He attempts to make up for the acting with predictable special effects, less than impressive explosions and a multitude of witch incantations, but these weak elements cannot make up for the lack of essential character development. There may have been too many characters to focus upon, but failing to focus on some of the key figure's back stories leaves the journey without any heart.  Everyone from the hero to the villain do not illicit for any interest despite to all of their efforts. Ultimately, this disenchanted outing could have drawn many under its spell, but merely elicits more yawns than screams. 
       The premise of The Last Witch Hunter which centres on occult figures is not new to literature, theatre or the cinema. This story line seems to only work well when it is clear that the devil and his minions are portrayed as truly evil. The Last Witch Hunter presents a world where this spiritual battle line is exceptionally blurred. In any form, witchcraft is reliant on the work of Satanic forces. Regardless of how these spiritual forces are portrayed in this film, these practises find their root in evil and should not be treated lightly. The supernatural world is real and there are stark lines are drawn between those that serve God and those who do not serve God. Even though The Last Witch Hunter is poor story telling, it does draw out a consideration of the a true spiritual battle that continues for the souls of the world.  

Leaving the cinema...
Once you get past the basic premise, this film provides little to celebrate. It is evident that Vin Diesel should stick to racing fast cars and playing large tree-like figures in space. 

REEL DIALOGUE: What are some of the bigger questions to consider from this film? 
1. What does the Bible say about witches? (Leviticus 19:31, 1 John 4:1)
2. Is there evil in the world? (Genesis 2:9, Revelation 18:2)
3. How do we fight evil? (Ephesians 6:10-20) 

Trailer for the film

Written by Russell Matthews based on a five star rating system @ Russelling Reviews #russellingreviews #tlwh #vindiesel