The Last Witch Hunter – USA, 2015

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‘Live forever’

The Last Witch Hunter is a 2015 American supernatural horror action film, directed by Breck Eisner (The Crazies) from a screenplay by Cory Goodman, Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless.

The film, which reportedly cost over $90 million, was released on October 23, 2015 and took $140,396,650 worldwide.

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Vin Diesel (Pitch Black; Riddick), Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood (Maniac; Cooties; Open Windows); Michael Caine (The Swarm; Dressed to Kill; The Hand; Stonehearst Manor) and Julie Engelbrecht.

An immortal witch-hunter is tasked with the job of coming between the covens of New York City and their goal to destroy humanity by way of a horrific plague.

In order to accomplish this, he must partner up with a beautiful female witch, something he thought he would never do…

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Reviews:

“The secrets to Eisner’s success are confidence and patience, both of which compensate for the film’s script whenever it becomes embarrassingly thin (especially during its rushed finale). Still, if nothing else, The Last Witch Hunter is so much more adept than other recent convoluted post-The Matrix adventure films about a superhuman men-of-action.” Simon Abrams, RogerEbert.com

“Too drab to succeed even as defiantly unvirtuous trash, this era-straddling tale of an immortal medieval warrior protecting modern-day New York from a Black Death reboot stifles Diesel’s rough-hewn charisma via a sludgy, impermeable oil spill of CGI effects — in the service of largely unspectacular hocus pocus.” Guy Lodge, Variety

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“A couple of late plot twists also feel refreshingly left-field, even if they are shameless signposts for future sequels. Less impressively, Eisner’s movie is clogged with cardboard characters, flat dialogue and a sluggish middle act that gets lost in too much fabricated witchy folklore.” Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter

“Eisner handles proceedings well but every now and then the picture feels a bit too ambitious in scale for him. His sure hand and muscular direction gets lost in sloppy handheld as he tries to contain the fairly hit and miss CGI. The script is anything but perfect, but for this particular genre it’s better than most.” Elliott Maguire, UK Horror Scene

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” … a relentlessly unengaging affair, its derivative and logic-deficient script matched by flat direction and fussy, unconvincing CGI. The performances are particularly rotten: we expect Vin to wobble about like a half-inflated penis balloon with a face scrawled on it, but Caine and Elijah Wood (playing his fellow priest) should know better; and the cut-glass-posh Leslie is simply unbearable…” Tom Huddleston, Time Out

“Diesel’s stolid performance is balanced through the supporting star power of Caine – even with criminally limited scenes – and Rose Leslie’s “dream walker,” whose earnestness makes even the world of a macho witch hunter seem entirely plausible.” Manori Ravindran, Toronto Globe and Mail

“Seemingly every time there was an opportunity to do something fun, The Last Witch Hunter runs in the other direction, creating an unfortunately heavy-handed, humorless, self-serious tone for a story that should be allowed to be a little goofy.” Kyle Anderson, Entertainment Weekly

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Buy: Amazon.co.uk

“The film’s nuttiest conceits evince the childlike delight director Breck Eisner and company obviously felt in bringing them to fruition, such as the monster that sucks in and houses all the witches that Kaulder catches, or the spell which fools a young girl into seeing a tree with Gummi bears as leaves.” Kenji Fujishima, Slant

“If you like Blade, Underworld and the dodgier Nicolas Cage, you will love this one.” Li-Z, London Metro

“A good, fun ride for what it is, The Last Witch Hunter is the kind of movie that starts to fall apart as soon as the credits roll.” Peter Martin, Twitch

Cast and characters:

  • Vin Diesel as Kaulder
  • Rose Leslie as Chloe
  • Elijah Wood as the 37th Dolan
  • Michael Caine as Father Dolan
  • Julie Engelbrecht as Witch Queen
  • Rena Owen as Glaeser
  • Ólafur Darri Ólafsson as Belial
  • Isaach De Bankolé as Schlesinger
  • Lotte Verbeek as Helena
  • Bex Taylor-Klaus as Brownyn
  • Kurt Angle

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