With the massive worldwide popularity of the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise, it’s easy to forget that Vin Diesel’s first love has always been the fantasy/sci-fi genre. In between movies about driving fast cars and pulling off impossible heists, the muscular Diesel likes to indulge in genre movies such as ‘Riddick’ and his latest feature, ‘The Last Witch Hunter.’ Don’t be so surprised, he’s an avid D&D roleplayer.
Unfortunately, TLWH turned out to be derivative, uninspired, and bland to the extent that I nearly dozed off at various points during this one-hour, 46-minute exercise in futility which seemed to drag on forever. Diesel plays the dark and brooding Riddick, I mean Kaulder, a witch hunter from the Middle Ages who vanquished the Witch Queen but not before she “cursed” him with immortality before she died. 800 years later in the modern world, Kaulder still assumes his role with serious gravitas as the protector of humanity, maintaining the fragile peace between humans and the witches (and warlocks) who live in secret among us. Just like vampires, eh?
TLWH might have worked 15 years ago when TV shows such as ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and movies like ‘Blade’ and ‘Underworld’ were all the rage. Now it’s just the latest been-there-done-that “where have I seen that before?” addition to a long dead subgenre. Nothing at all stands out in this film and even the FX is boringly pedestrian. And as much as I like Diesel, his acting chops leave a lot to be desired even if he nailed the “look” in his long coat and sword strapped across his back. Good thing he's making a ton of money in F&F and can afford flops like this, because TLWH's tanking fast and furiously at the box office.