THE LAST WITCH HUNTER

Coven ready turkey

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

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.

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