We've had successful fantasy-action movies such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Pan's Labyrinth, The NeverEnding Story, etc. Then you have terrible fantasy-action movies that really think they can measure up like Van Helsing, Dungeons and Dragons, Hansel and Gretal: Witch Hunters, and Twilight. Guess which pile "The Last Witch Hunter" is going into? I knew from the title how bad this film was gonna be, but after watching it....Jesus Christ did I need a mercy killing. Spoilers Ahead!!! This movie was requested by @mcbubbles. Took me god knows how long, but I finally managed to find it and watch it....and I will never be able to unsee it. Before we start, I would like to address something. The director, Breck Eisner, is actually a pretty decent director. So, I don't completely blame him for this movie. This is more on the writers. Who are the writers? Cory Goodman, who wrote a movie bomb called "The Priest" and...Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. You may recognize these two dimwits as the "geniuses" behind "Dracula Untold" and "Gods of Egypt". If you've seen either one of these movies, then you know we are in terrible danger here.
So the good stuff.....um.....? 1) Visuals. Yeah a couple of the visuals were actually pretty nice to look at. Like the first scene in the icy mountains, it's a brutal snowy mountain, but it's a nice setup. I actually thought that it was a good scene and that this might turn out to be a good movie...I was wrong but, there were a few times that the visuals were pretty good. Like when a boy follows a trail of gummy bears (yeah it sounds stupid but magic and stuff) and he finds this gummy bear tree. That's a nice visual. It's colorful and it looked enchanting, very magical. Some of the CGI was actually quite impressive. Like in Chloe's bar, were there's some kind of sparkly magic stuff for I don't know why but it's still looks nice. Some of the magic looks pretty good. I'll give the movie that, the visuals look good.
2) This One Joke. So this witch is accused of killing the 36th Dolan and is brought before this council of...good witches...magic users...people??? Idk but they can use magic too somehow. They're the council that the main character Kaulder, played by Vin Diesel (we'll get to that later, folks), works for called the Axe and Cross, and boy do they look ridiculous. The accused witch took the words right out of my mouth. "You look like an 80s rock band" "I mean look at your hair...and your clothes". I don't know why, but I had to pause the movie because I started cracking up. It wasn't that funny, but it was the only thing in this movie that genuinely made me laugh. I genuinely hoped that they wouldn't kill him because he was honest to god the best comic relief.
Now onto the bad *cracks knuckles*😈 1) The Villian. I'm sorry. The Witch Queen? Your villian's name is the Witch Queen? Was Evil McBaddie taken? I just can't take this name seriously. They really couldn't come up with an original name? A 6-year-old could come up with a better name than that! I am in utter disbelief of the lack of effort for the antagonist we're all supposed to be afraid of. Lord Voldemort? Intimidating. Sauron? Frightening. The Nothing? Ominous. The Witch Queen? Fucking stupid. It's dull and uncreative. Strike 1!
2) Celebrity Hostages. Michael Cain? Elijah Wood? Rose Leslie? Okay! What are Alfred Pennyworth, Frodo Baggins, and Ygritte doing in this movie?! How did they hold you hostage? What did they do to make you say yes? Did they drug you? You poor things! Such talented actors and you're in this piece of crap! (No joke, while watching this, I actually shouted "just because you roped Frodo Baggins into this, won't make it a good movie!")
3) Vin Diesel. Why would this guy be our protagonist? It's pretty clear that Diesel has little interest in what he's saying. There's no enthusiasm in the magical mumbo jumbo that he's "explaining". He's an action guy, not a fantasy guy. He's just out of his element. Sure, he was Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy but that was A) a voiceover, B) more of a sci-fi/action movie, C) he literally only had 3 words to say over and over. His delivery in this movie is so wooden and lifeless, which brings me to his character Kaulder...he's boring. Kaulder is boring. He has ZERO personality. We learn nothing about him other than he lost his wife and child in the Black Plague (which was actually a dark curse, dumb) and he's been cursed with immortality by the stupidly named Witch Queen. That's literally it. There is nothing interesting about Kaulder to make his character memorable.
4) The Writing. Where do I even begin? A)First off, the dialogue is awkward. Like when the 37th Dolan tries to make conversation, Kaulder totally ignores him and just makes his own conversation with him. Or when Chloe goes on and on about how humans view witches as ugly or how Salem was wrong. There's no transition, it just comes out of nowhere. Speaking of transitions, there's these really weird, out-of-place scenes that confuse the hell out of you. Ex: Chloe gets...almost kidnapped or something in a portal of some kind from her apartment and Kaulder kinda saves her and then the next scene she just wakes up in his bed. And that's it. What the hell just happened? There are no smooth transitions. I don't know if this is the writing's or editing's fault but that's just one of the many dumb scenes. B) Here comes a really big blunder: we discover that Kaulder's immortality is tied to the Witch Queen's heart, which turns out to have survived. So all those years ago, rather than to destroy the most powerful entity on Earth who killed THOUSANDS by destroying her heart at the cost of ONE person's life, a person who could've been reunited with his wife and child in death, you chose...not to. Idiots. Strike 2!!! C) Michael Cain's character, 36th Dolan, has a 2 minute narration in the 1st act...and it's never heard from again...making the nature of this narration totally pointless. The reason for this is to explain the truce between humans and witches...something that could've been explained in a million other ways, but the writers chose the lazy way out. Narration not only needs a reason, but it needs to stick with the story like in "A Christmas Story" or "Its a Wonderful Life". When you use narration just to explain a situation, that doesn't make you, a writer, smart, it makes you clumsy. D) Plotholes. So many to choose from. How about 1) when Kaulder brings in a witch ACCUSED of killing Dolan 36, he is immediately sentenced. Kaulder actually makes a good point here. Why doesn't he get interrogated or a fair trial? Or even asked the question "why?" He's just sentenced to death. Okay well, that's what I thought at first, but apparently not. But they were all talking so fast and jumping the gun that I didn't know what the hell they were saying. I even rewinded the scene and...yeah still didn't follow. Still sounded like death. 2) They never discussed nor showed where the Witch Queen's heart was hidden or how Baltasar got it. In fact, we don't know how Baltasar knows the ritual to resurrect the Witch Queen or why he wants to do it in the first place. We know absolutely nothing about him. Literally nothing....so we don't care if anything happens to him. 3) A witch prison is introduced in the last 30 minutes of the 3rd act which is pivotal to the Witvh Queen's plans. Screenwriting 101, people, when something is important to the plot, you introduce it early and drops subtle hints to indicate foreshadowing. You DON'T drop a bomb like these idiots like "oh there's a witch prison where the Witch Queen can use the prisoners as a power source". That is weak and lazy. E) 37th Dolan revealing that the witches Kaulder killed were actually his parents+poor delivery of said reveal+being evil=Stupid!! Enough said! F) When the Witch revives, she takes back the curse from Kaulder, rendering him mortal. During their final battle, he strikes his sword in her chest and lightning strikes them both and...he somehow gets cursed again? Wtf? But that's not the worst part. The worst part is when Kaulder is about to destroy the heart thereby sacrificing himself....only to be talked out of it by Chloe. He chooses NOT to sacrifice himself for the greater good. Didn't they learn their lesson the first time? This heart is dangerous! Destroy it!!! But no. They keep it and live happily ever after. Strike 3!
Consensus? This movie is shit. The writing is horrible, the acting is beyond bad, and nothing makes sense. The most at fault here is the writing. I've bad writing, but man is this terrible! It's lazy, full of itself, and just plain awful writing. It's your typical "next big fantasy wanna-be", but it'll never amount to Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The NeverEnding Story, Pan's Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, The Chronicles of Narnia, etc. Films like "The Last Witch Hunter" lack substance, character development, and originality, something that separates it from other fantasy movies, books, tv series, etc. The point is this movie sucks. End of discussion. Also what do you want me to review next week? Something old? Something new? Something good? Something bad? Let me know in the comments. If I dont get any requests by Thursday, Ill just put something out. K? Fair? Goodie.
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