THe LasT WiTCH HunTer

Vin Diesel rolls a one

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Re­views -

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12A | 106 min­utes

Direc­tor Breck eis­ner

Cast Vin diesel, Michael Caine, Eli­jah

Wood, Rose Les­lie, Rena Owen

Vin Diesel makes his first foray into fan­tasy film­mak­ing with The Last Witch Hunter, a film spawned from his love of Dun­geons & Dragons. Given the end re­sult, you rather wish Diesel was into Mo­nop­oly, Cluedo or Snakes & Lad­ders.

Di­rected by Breck Eis­ner, who last pitched up with the 2010 re­make of Ge­orge Romero’s The Cra­zies, The Last Witch Hunter is a per­func­tory scare-fest drown­ing in dig­i­tal ef­fects but en­tirely lack­ing in charisma. Diesel plays Kaul­der, a me­dieval war­rior cursed with im­mor­tal­ity just as he van­quishes the pesti­lence­spread­ing Witch Queen.

Eight hun­dred years later, we’re in mod­ern-day New York, where Kaul­der now spends his spare time se­duc­ing air hostesses. He’s also em­ployed by a Witch Coun­sel to hunt down naughty necro­mancers who prac­tice dark magic. When Kaul­der’s pries­tad­vi­sor (Michael Caine) is left spell-stricken, he fol­lows a trail that even­tu­ally sug­gests a plot to res­ur­rect the Witch Queen. Along for the ride is Caine’s wellmean­ing re­place­ment (Eli­jah Wood) and a good witch named Chloe (Game Of Thrones’ Rose Les­lie), who spends her days run­ning a gothy arts club.

As the story plods along, Eis­ner fills the screen with icky vi­su­als, but rarely does any­thing get un­der the skin. Some ideas are promis­ing, like a bak­ery feed­ing its pa­trons with mag­got-rid­dled cakes, but never re­ally de­vel­oped. Di­a­logue is as wooden as a box of cru­ci­fixes, and the per­for­mances, bar a lively turn from Mis­fits/This Is Eng­land’s Joe Gil­gun, are largely mori­bund. Let us prey this is a one-off. James Mot­tram

Screen­writer Cory Good­man was in­spired by talk­ing to Diesel about his D&D char­ac­ter, Melkor – a name from The Sil­mar­il­lion.

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