The Last Witch Hunter

THE LAST WITCH HUNTER (Breck Eisner). 106 minutes. Opens Friday (October 23). See listings. Rating: NNThe Last Witch Hunter is.

THE LAST WITCH HUNTER (Breck Eisner). 106 minutes. Opens Friday (October 23). See listings. Rating: NN

The Last Witch Hunter is a movie in constant conflict with how ridiculous it is, and how enjoyable it could be. It needs to go over the top, but wont even look up.

Breck Eisners dopey fantasy adventure stars Vin Diesel as Kaulder, an immortal warrior who maintains the delicate balance of power between humans and witches in present-day New York City. (He was cursed with eternal life by the Witch Queen during the Black Plague which, it turns out, was her attempt to wipe humanity off the planet.) When a sorcerer (Olafur Darri Olafsson) sets a new apocalypse in motion, Kaulder must reach back into his own past to find out whats really going on.

This is exactly the sort of picture that needs the self-aware silliness of a Nicolas Cage and Cage basically did this in The Sorcerers Apprentice a few years back. While Diesels comic timing is pretty good, hes just too self-serious to play with the material in a way that would bring this film to life.

Its much more interesting to watch Game Of Thrones alumna Rose Leslie do her own thing as a young witch who becomes Kaulders unwilling ally, or to see how Elijah Wood, as Kaulders new assistant, finds a different but complementary energy to Diesels in their scenes together.

Eisners souped-up remake of The Crazies showed impressive technical skills, but he seems entirely disengaged from the material this time around. And while the script does offer one halfway clever twist, it comes far too late to reignite my interest in watching actors outrun digital effects.

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