You know nothin' Vin Diesel.

Please note the review below may contain minor spoilers - I've done my best to keep them to a minimum.

Vin Diesel - better known to his friends as Mark Sinclair - returns once again with another action-fest blockbuster, playing Dom - I mean Riddick, oh wait a minute… Playing Kaulder - that’s the one - an 800 year old immortal warrior, but will The Last Witch Hunter stand the true test of time?

The Last Witch Hunter begins in the far-flung past, how far you ask? Well approximately 800 years ago, as a rough looking Kaulder (Vin Diesel) - wielding a full set of hair and beard, whilst modelling an assortment of fur - is on the hunt with his fellow fur-clad comrades in arms. Their prey is a Witch - a Witch Queen (Julie Engelbrecht) in fact - who has seemingly slain Kaulder’s kin, and now he’s out for revenge the old fashioned way - with pointy objects.

As the intense - and well executed - battle heats up Kaulder finds himself squaring off with the Queen herself, who he makes quick work of using his flaming sword - and that is not a euphemism. In her dying breath the Queen curses Kaulder to eternal life - to forever walk the Earth alone.

Now 800 years later in present day Manhattan, Kaulder sans hair and beard is still hunting witches with the help of the ‘Axe & Cross’ - basically a sect of the Church - who assign Kaulder various missions throughout the ages with the help of a ‘Dolan'. The present Dolan (Michael Caine) is the 36th in a long line of predecessors and currently celebrating the day of his retirement, thankfully he already has a successor in line (Elijah Wood) to become the 37th and carry on their covert work.

Sadly the 36th Dolan passes away shortly after his farewell, and Kaulder suspects foul play; his hunch proves right however, as he and his new Dolan partner uncover dark magic at play. Along the path of unravelling the bigger motive behind this mystery, Kaulder happens across Chloe (Rose Leslie) who herself is a witch, and after being attacked by the same perpetrators joins with her now unlikely ally to reveal the truth about what is really going on and assure her own safety in the process.

For being quite the usual bloated, paint by numbers action-fare, The Last Witch Hunter happens to do a lot right. During your trek through the admittedly CGI action-fest - mixed in with some outstanding prosthetic work mind you, especially on the Witch Queen herself - you’ll enjoy what it has to offer, with the lore of its world surprisingly deep and well crafted - reminding me a lot of Constantine in its approach. The Last Witch Hunter aims to be a fun popcorn flick with some entertaining set pieces - with most, likely just going to see Vin Diesel kick some ass - and it wholeheartedly succeeds in that aspect.

The real problem with the film is its pacing, starting off excellently, sagging in the middle quite drastically then again slowly picking up towards the last act - it all feels just a tad too long, and with the light story it contains The Last Witch Hunter would have worked much better with a good 15-20 minutes taken out. Like most action films the characters are massively underdeveloped and you’ll find it hard to care for any of the unlikely heroes, with plot points such as the loss Kaulder’s wife and daughter used merely as tools for action, rather than feed into the character itself.

Thankfully the performances are passable, with Vin Diesel playing his usual, sturdy tough guy persona - I believe it to be the only persona in his repertoire - and Rose Leslie finally gets the chance to strut her stuff in Hollywood after a stint in Game Of Thrones.

All in all The Last Witch Hunter is a fun night out, like most modern day action-flicks you’ll find it unlikely to remember what happened in the film a month from now - or heck even a week - but whilst it lasts you will at least be entertained and intrigued by the lore on offer, but when the credits role it’s unlikely you’ll be clamouring for more - at least for now.

The Last Witch Hunter is currently available to buy on Blu-ray & DVD via Amazon or on-demand via Amazon Video.

  • Review by
    David Robinson

    Twitter: @5ypher

    Posted on
    20th October 2015

  • 3 Out of 5 Stars
  • Overly long

    Underdeveloped characters

    Drags in the middle

  • Interesting lore

    Prosthetic work

    Well executed CGI

Film Info

The Last Witch Hunter The Last Witch Hunter
Rating: 12A
Release Date: 21st October
Runtime: 1 hr 46 mins
Director: Breck Eisner
Starring: Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood, Michael Caine, Julie Engelbrecht & Ólafur Darri Ólafsson

  • Constantine
  • Dracula Untold
  • 47 Ronin

Whilst there isn't any outright gore or depictions of death, some scenes involving monsters may scare young children.

The character of Kaulder is based upon a Dungeons & Dragons character of Vin Diesels own creation - he is an avid fan of the game.

Vin Diesel himself confirmed a sequel is purportedly already in the works.