You know you’re watching a bad movie when the girl sat in front of you checks her phone five times during its runtime and you don’t mind a bit. I hadn’t expected much going into The Last Witch Hunter. After all, Vin Diesel as the immortal hero was never going to be Oscar worthy material. But what I didn’t expect was how turgid and generic it would be.
I had a big grin when Michael Caine turned up as a priest and provided some worthwhile exposition before dropping out of the movie for most of the duration. He’d possibly read the rest of the script and realised how dull it was.
As you’ll have gathered, Vin is the eponymous warrior made immortal when a witch curses him to live for eternity.
So yes, it’s a bit like Highlander. However, when he crosses paths with a good witch (Game of Thrones’ Rose Leslie), our hero embarks on a mission to rescue his priestly sidekick from his comatose state. The fact Vin calls Michael ’Kid’ (because he’s immortal and Caine has been working for him for 50 years) is just one of the many problems. The presence of Elijah Wood as Caine’s replacement is initially hilarious if you seen the opening movie trailers in Tropic Thunder.
So as Vin, Rose and Elijah set off on their mission, there are generic shape shifting bad guys (including This Is England‘s Joseph Gilgun), flashbacks and fights with monsters. Only in a dream state, a bit like Inception.
Vin drives an Aston Martin, which could have done with more screen time, especially during the yawnsome second act which nearly put me in a Caine-like coma.
The effects are all a bit meh. CGI abounds as tree vines coil around victims, and in the finale swarms of flies fill the New York skyline like a scene from Ghostbusters.
Had I seen it on DVD I’d have turned it off half way through, and seriously considered walking out 30 minutes before the end.
I did wonder what was going through Diesel’s mind. He may have been on autopilot for much of the movie or thinking about how much the last Fast and Furious film made, and realised he could just phone it in for this movie and still make a packet.
There’s a gag involving Caine preferring books to an IPad. When he flattens a fly with his book, he remarks ‘Try doing that with an IPad’. Well it’s easy enough, especially when in a case like most are.
Okay, it’s not as dreadful as Babylon AD, but this vehicle seems to be powered by olive oil rather than Diesel.
Wait for its appearance on Netflix or some other movie provider in a few weeks, then ensure you have plenty of booze into help you through the mind numbing proceedings.
** Out of *****