Wednesday, April 06, 2016

The Last Witch Hunter

It’s an adequate film in the rather unimaginative genre where a righteous Christian warrior must hunt down an evil witch to save humanity, or parts of it. Nicolas Cage and Ron Pearlman did one such film some years back. Then Jeff Bridges did one called ‘Seventh Son’.

Here, Vin Diesel plays an undead soldier since the time of the Vikings, I guess, who must settle one final score with the Witch Queen he helped burn a long time ago, where else, in modern day New York. You know how it ends. There are fights and nice visuals. The new-age computer graphics technology has made all this rather too easy.

The movie looks good, but it terms of narrative, there is not much. The script tries, but it cannot do much as it sticks to the genre demands. There are some nice touches, like the generation of Dolans serving the undead hero, like the witches who roam among humans, like the blind magician with the butterflies, in the shape of an underutilised Isaach De Bankole. It’s really a crime to hire Bankole in a movie and not give him anything substantial to do. If you don’t believe me, ask Claire Denis?

Diesel is adequate. After all those Fast and Furious movies, you don’t really mind him anymore. After Nolan’s Dark Knight movies, Michael Caine now play a variation of the butler role in his sleep. He has tremendous screen empathy and it works well here. What do you say about Elijah Wood? After The Lord of the Rings, he seems to have lost his way? And, why they always cast him in bumbling villainous roles?

In the end, you wonder, with so much cash at their disposal, why could not they find a more exciting story to tell. But you are grateful that at least this one is not as terrible as Seventh Son.

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