THE LAST WITCH HUNTER
Coven ready turkey
released 7 March 2015 | 12 | Blu- ray/ DVD/ download
Director Breck Eisner
Cast Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie, Elijah
Wood, Michael Caine
Some actors can raise the quality of a dud film simply by appearing in it. Michael Caine is not one of them. Brilliant though he can be, if he doesn’t have to be, he doesn’t bother. In the ’ 70s and early ’ 80s his performance was often a barometer of quality – the crapper the movie, the less effort he put it. In The Swarm he could have been replaced by a Michael Caine standee.
Recently, this hasn’t been an issue, as he’s been offered better parts. But thanks to Vin Diesel insisting that his “buddy” ( they know each other from “parties”, we’re told in the commentary) must have a role in his new fantasy flick, Caine’s past has caught up with him.
The Last Witch Hunter starts off looking entertainingly bad before becoming simply tediously bad. The story of an immortal Witch Hunter ( Diesel in world- weary mode… which isn’t that much different from Diesel in any other mode) whose ancient enemy is attempting a rebirth in modern Manhattan, it’s sloppy, derivative, and flair- free, beset with cartoony CG, ADHD pacing and quips that pass for dialogue.
Caine plays a mentor figure who’s being replaced by a younger model ( Elijah Wood). It’s his laziest performance in years – and not just because he spends most of the film in a coma. That must rate as his ultimate critique of a film’s worth.
Extras A dry commentary by director Breck Eisner; a workmanlike 29- minute Making Of; two deleted scenes ( five minutes); four cartoon shorts in differing animation styles ( 2- 3 minutes each); a sizzle reel ( one- and- a- half minutes of clips, basically). Dave Golder
Michael Caine was replaced by a full- sized replica of the actor for the scenes where his character was in a coma.
Frank enjoyed his brisk walks through Hell.