Have you ever had a moment in your life where you wished you lived forever? I know I have. In the new Breck Eisner film starring Vin Diesel, you may find yourself asking if immortality is actually worth the cost. I know when I was young the idea of being immortal was incredible. I’d have the time to visit any place I wanted and unearth any secret, but I never once thought about the loss I would have to endure. Living forever would mean I’d have to watch all of my loved ones pass from this earth, any time I made a connection I would then have to bare slowly losing it. After a time, would this “gift” not seem more like a curse? How could one make this existence worth baring? These were thoughts that went through my mind as I watched Kaulder (Vin Deisel) struggle with the burden of immortality. Though this film is truly an action movie, the deep seeded question about immortality still remains ever present.
In Breck Eisner’s The Last Witch Hunter we are introduced to an age-old war between a secret order of witch hunters known as, “The Order of the Axe and Cross” and witches, powerful beings that can wield magic and the forces of nature. We come into the story as Kaulder and a band of witch hunters are closing in on an ancient evil force that has brought a plague into the world of man. Blood is drawn and lives are lost as Kaulder comes face to face with the Witch Queen (Julie Engelbrecht). As he strikes the final blow the queen curses Kaulder with immortality, forcing him to live on while his family will eventually age and die. Centuries later we find Kaulder still alive and still battling witches that seek to destroy humankind and break an age-old truce between with the Order.
An action/fantasy movie about a secret order trying to slay witches? Yes please. Add in a great cast and you pretty much have me hooked. The story for the film was pretty straight forward good vs. evil with nothing new to offer. However, there was certainly a grey area as you come to find that not all the witches in the world were out to destroy it. Quite the opposite. This really intrigued me as the film progressed, as it had me questioning who was, in fact, good or evil. In some aspects one might consider the order itself evil, certainly if you were a witch. Kaulder seemed to fit into the 21st century quite well and managed not to be struck with “old vampire syndrome” which often clings to movies with the presence of immortality.
The plot worked out nicely as it had Kaulder (Vin Diesel) attempting to solve a murder involving a member of the Order, which carried him into a sinister plan devised by a cult of evil witches. Along the way he is given aid by the supporting cast in the form of his handler (Elijah Wood) and a female witch named Chloe (Rose Leslie). Michael Caine makes a wonderful appearance in the film as Kaulder’s current at the beginning of the film. The actors all did a great Job. Michael Caine does what Michael Caine does best, bringing in his amazing wit and charm, pretty much stealing the show whenever he was on-screen. Rose Leslie, whom you might has seen in her recent role as a Wildling in the HBO series Game of Thrones, brought in a reluctance to get involved which was portrayed in a very real way. She clearly wanted to be left alone and kept out of the coming storm, honor however, seemed to keep her in the game. Eisner could have left Elijah Wood out of the movie, as he didn’t bring anything to the film that any other actor could have. His character felt two-dimensional and the acting made the character feel flat and devoid of life.
Let’s be honest though, we go to see a Vin Diesel flick for Vin Diesel and in this film he does not disappoint. Vin swinging a sword and cleaving evil witches in two is more than enough for me, however I found myself very surprised with the film. Kaulder is really brought to life with what I consider to be some of Diesel’s best work yet. The character felt real; I could relate to him. There was one scene in particular, right at the beginning of the film that had me smiling. Kaulder was kind to the “enemy”, he’s not there to kill, but to resolve a situation in a more human manner. It showed both heart and honor. The mannerisms and humor offered up from Diesel showed me an old soul living in an age that he had become accustomed to, but did not belong. These are things I don’t usually see in your standard action movie.
Pacing is a very important factor to me in any film, especially the action genre. If you mix in prolong drama the viewers can start to get antsy, and the film can become stagnant. I actually cared about the plot of this movie, the pacing kept me fully entertained during the whole ride and I found myself wanting more knowledge and more history of the characters. As far as I’m concerned, they could have tacked on another hour of film if the pacing stayed the same throughout. I would have loved to learn more about the characters in the world the writers created for us. My one and only complaint was the last battle sequence. Though I loved the perceived arena the hero and villain battled in, I was prepared with something a bit more epic.
This was a great action film and if the synopsis intrigues you, I would certainly recommend that you go see it. For the Vin Diesel fans like me out there, you will not regret the price of admission for The Last Witch Hunter, it will be everything that you want it to be and more! Vin diesel really breathes life into the main character and should things go well in the box office, I can certainly see this franchise achieving immortality itself.
The Last Witch Hunter:[usr 4]
About The Last Witch Hunter
Synopsis: Kaulder, a witch hunter is cursed with immortality by a Witch Queen right before she dies at his hand. As a result, he has been tracking down evil witches for centuries while leading a lonely existence separated from his wife and daughter. When the Witch Queen returns from the dead seeking retribution, a battle ensues and the fate of humanity hangs in the balance.
Directors: Breck Eisner
Writers: Cory Goodman, Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless
Stars: Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie, Michael Caine, Elijah Wood
Runtime: 106 Minutes
David has been playing video games since early Atari and has not slowed one bit. He's a dog trainer and Tarot reader among others talents. Writing has always been something he wanted to do since he could remember, it just seemed a great fit being part the gaming department at GNN.