Vin Diesel has found his franchise with the Fast and Furious films, he is the embodiment of that series and for me will always be Dominic Toretto. Those films are where he is best suited, big, fun blockbusters! Over his career he has even managed to utilise his voice talents in the likes of The Iron Giant and Guardians of the Galaxy. However, when I heard about this new fantasy film I did raise an eyebrow, would this kind of film work for Diesel?
To my knowledge this is Diesel’s first fantasy film, he has explored the similar but not entirely the same genre of sci-fi in the past making films like Pitch Black. Like the other films I’ve mentioned he feels somewhat at home there but I just couldn’t really ever accept him as ‘The Last Witch Hunter’. If you read my blog often enough you may know that I often struggle with the fantasy genre in general. I find that it can descend very quickly into silliness if not executed in the correct way. Personally, I didn’t think throwing Vin Diesel in amongst all this worked which was a shame as I made sure not to write the film off before viewing it. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not criticising his performance I’m just stating that he was possibly miscast due to his presence as an all out action star. Even when he does get behind the wheel of an Aston Martin this doesn’t save him despite his Fast and Furious credentials. All of the performances in the film are fine, I didn’t think any of them were diabolical but likewise there isn’t any one performance to write home about. Other than Diesel the cast include names such as Michael Caine and Elijah Wood.
The biggest problem that The Last Witch Hunter has is that on the whole it’s just quite boring, in so many aspects too. Firstly the plot wasn’t very original and you could predict what was going to happen from the moment each obviously revealing line of dialogue was spoken. Secondly, all of the characters were boring too, Caine’s character was the only real one with potential and he’s unfortunately largely underused. Finally, and most disappointingly, the action sequences too were lacking in excitement. I thought the casting of Diesel, whilst not ideal for the role, would mean we’d at least get some great action. Alas I was wrong, as I write this review I genuinely struggle to remember much of the action from the film. Instead of spectacular set pieces exploring the films subject we always seemed to get very contained scenes of combat. This was a bit baffling considering the potential that the films subject matter allowed but I’ll admit that with time the film does improve and the finale ends up being an acceptable sequence if it was maybe placed in the mid section of the film.
So I’m afraid The Last Witch Hunter really wasn’t very good at all, Vin Diesel seems misplaced for the duration of the movie and the surrounding characters do little to help that. Boredom is something there is a high risk of you encountering if you watch the film, I think this is one you’ll be able to make up your mind on by watching the trailer. However, despite all this I can’t hate the film. Vin Diesel just seems like such a sound guy and although he never feels at home he does manage to bring some of his infectious likability to the film at times.
Rating – 3/10