All original written content is (c) 2015 Mike Pascale. Visual content is (c) its respective owners. Bru-Hed is ©2015 and a trademark of All Ages Media and Mike Pascale.
NEWBIES: If this is your first trip here (welcome!), here’s the QT on what these reviews are.
THIS WEEK: Vin Diesel abandons his musclecars in favor of his muscles (and an ax) as Kaulder, a warrior-turned-immortal-witch-hunter set out to take down modern-day witches—and their evil plot—with the help of Michael Caine, Elijah Wood and a ginger witchy-bar owner (Rose Leslie).
Written by Cory Goodman and Matt Sazama & Burk Sharpless. Directed by Breck Eisner (no relation to Will).
- Interesting premise and setup. It opens in ancient times as Vin the Viking (or whatever—it was shot in Iceland) and tribe are hunting the evil witch queen. The gory result is different than other films of its kind. And it’s refreshing to see Diesel with long hair shaved on the sides and a ZZ Top beard.
- Special effects, creatures and mystical stuff looks good. I liked the Witch Queen too—I bet she looked pretty smokin’ in her day (seriously, she had a decent bod, if you can look past the tree-like weathered flesh and disgusting facial features).
- Supporting cast: Michael Caine, as the “Dolan” who advises the witch hunter and records his deeds, is always good. He should have had more screen time. Elijah Wood is well cast as the well-meaning-but-wimpy “Dolan trainee” even though he’s pretty one-dimensional. Rose Leslie as Chloe is good but too skinny; good from the neck up but I need more meat on my witch babes.
- I know most critics will pan the banter that goes on between Chloe and Kaulder (sounds like “cauldron,” get it?) but I thought they worked okay together. He was his usual serious self but she could make him smile.
- Bad guy Belial (another corny coincidence) is badass and a good “foil.”
- Most of the battle scenes are pretty good. Especially liked the “by fire and by iron” line, and really liked the giant scorpion-type creatures.
- Though this has a satisfying ending, there’s plenty of stuff for sequels. (According to imdb.com, WH2 is already in development. They might want to check the box office return of the first one, though.)
- Pacing could be much better. There’s a lot of detective work and searching in between the action scenes that drag on too long. It seems like 35-45 minutes are spent on finding one stupid secret in Diesel’s memory, which would have been better served with action/creature scenes.
- Diesel still drives a pretty cool car here, but nothing is done with it. If you have something that exotic, have a good car chase or creature-attack-while-driving or something. (Seeing him in Chloe’s car was a funny touch, though.)
- A lot of back-and-forth between dream/memory sequences and the present/reality, which may confuse or annoy some viewers.
- Bugs, scorpions and maggots abound. Like tons and tons of bugs, and in too many scenes. I get the need for them plot-wise, but they become overused.
- Very little done with the Witch Council which could have been better used and explained. Same with the Max character which could have been good comedic relief. Missed opportunities.
- Some of the expository stuff, with the treaty between the witches and man, the Dolans and their place, and other things might be too much for some viewers; then again, it’s probably fodder for future films.
The dry spells between battles and creatures are the main deterrent here. But Vin Diesel is always entertaining to watch; so rent it if you’re a fan of his. Otherwise, if you’re curious, wait till it’s free on demand somewhere and check it out. It’s not good or bad, just kinda empty like a bag of cotton candy. The Last Witch Hunter is basically in the same vein as Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters and Van Helsing but I enjoyed both of those more (despite the idiot critics); I think I’d rather see the sequel to one of the other two films first.
P.S.: HAPPY HALLOWEEN! How about a sexy witch or a nasty monster or a buff hunter for your collection or a gift? Pascale will draw an original worth your while. Mention HALLOWEEN 15 and get 15 percent off! Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, witches, warlocks, wiccans, pagans, heathens or vegans. Bru wants to go fast and furious with Sabrina the teenage witch or Samantha from Bewitched but forgets which witch is the witch with which he should go with. Are ya with me?