Vin Diesel’s “The Last Witch Hunter” Movie Review

Witches. Some are good, some are bad, but all of them still exist. At least that is what Vin Diesel thinks for his new movie, The Last Witch Hunter. I had the chance to attend the premiere in New York City thanks to Lions Gate Entertainment. With this movie, Vin Diesel is attempting to revive his solo action star roles and The Last Witch Hunter is a good start. During his introduction for the movie, Diesel became very emotional, referencing the death of his good friend Paul Walker, Diesel’s co-star in the Fast and Furious franchise. He said that his new movie was a chance to get back out there and that he is extremely proud of the hard work that went into it. After much consoling applause, the movie rolled.
The Last Witch Hunter is fantastical in every sense. Vin Diesel’s character, Kaulder, hails from an uncertain land, which can only be described as Coldlandia. The opening scene presents Diesel with a long braided beard and deep, flowing undercut that will have every hipster jealous. Kaulder is a 14th Century witch hunter for the Catholic Church on a mission to destroy the Witch Queen, played by the lusciously beautiful Julie Engelbrecht. Unfortunately, Engelbrecht’s beauty is unable to shine through as she is digitally masked with hideous warts. The CGI that is used is very well done, and the viewer can tell that Diesel, who also developed and produced the movie, spent a lot of money to get it finished perfectly.
The opening battle scene between Kaulder and the Witch Queen flowed well, explaining how Kaulder receives his immortality. Fast forward many centuries, and we see Kaulder still hunting witches, but this time from his Upper East Side loft in New York City. His character sometimes seduces women, but mostly sticks to his job of accepting witch-hunts from an underground society rooted in the Catholic Church. Kaulder has always had a sidekick of sorts, a priest from the aforementioned society who refers to himself as a Dolan. During this particular time in Kaulder’s immortal life, the 36th Dolan is played by Michael Caine who, unfortunately, didn’t play as big of a role as I had hoped for as he is quickly laid to rest under strange circumstances. Nonetheless, the secret society swiftly dispatches a 37th Dolan played by Elijah Wood, whose character seems deeply scared of his responsibility, but tries to be tough. In an attempt to find out what happened to the 36th Dolan, Kaulder and his new sidekick set out on a hunt, crossing paths with a dark-arts club owner named Chloe, played by “Game of Thrones” star Rose Leslie. The scene is fun, but a bit clichéd by having all of the witches in the club overburdened with the clothing and accessories of every Hot Topic store in the Midwest. Despite being a witch, Kaulder decides not to waste her as only Vin Diesel could, and the trio decides to investigate together as a team.
Trudging along for the next hour, the investigation winds its way through other ghastly and ghoulish characters with the occasional one-liner to soften the mood. The final battle recycles way too much imagery from the beginning of the film as if to suggest the audience was too stupid to remember what happened an hour and a half ago. Nonetheless, the action sequence was lively enough to keep the audience engaged to the credits. At one point in the movie, Kaulder asks, “Do you know what it’s like to live forever?” I hope for Diesel’s sake, his new franchise can have enough life to live on because I’d like to see the sequel.
The Last Witch Hunter opens in Dallas theaters on October 22nd with a wide release the next day.
The official trailer to the movie can be seen here

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Hanging out with Youtube Star and Fellow DE-J host, Dan J Rodo

– Dean Somes

Dean Somes is a host for Let’s Go, DFW, an entertainment show that airs on CBS.  He is also a published author, having written chapters in two financial investment books. Dean can be seen out and about in Dallas at various events around town, jumping out of planes, racing cars at the track or scaling up a mountain somewhere in the world.  He can be found on Instagram at @thedaredevildean