With plenty of passion and fury, action superstar Vin Diesel cuts a solid path through the swarms of evil in The Last Witch Hunter. Here’s a rundown on the story:
Eternal warrior Kaulder (Diesel), who was cursed with immortality after slaying the all-powerful Witch Queen centuries ago yearns to be reunited with his beloved wife and daughter in the afterlife, but Kaulder’s life in the modern world is darkened when he discovers that the Witch Queen has been resurrected and seeks revenge on the one who killed her.
While fans of the action superstar won’t need much convincing, some may need a little more than the allure of a major actor to watch this fantasy epic. Here’s five reasons to watch:
5. The shadow realm
From the get-go director Breck Eisner and production designer Julie Berghoff invested heavily in the concept of solid world building, creating a rich, layered-looking universe inhabited by both witches and humans. Kaulder’s world of the Axe and Cross is elegant and masonic with emphasis placed on structure and style, while witch Chloe’s nightclub is an organic and chic atmosphere that shines with its magic potions and floating chandeliers. There is also of course, the unnerving darkness and sickness of the Witch Queen’s Plague Tree — a colossal and haunting structure.
4. Have faith in the Dolans
Part of the charm of The Last Witch Hunter comes in the dual supporting performances from Michael Caine and Elijah Wood, who respectively play the 36th and 37th Dolan, the personal assistant and chronicler of Kaulder’s fight against the witches. While Caine is the old dog who has been at Kaulder’s side for a lifetime, and would like nothing more than to see his friend lay down his sword, Wood presents a more innocent and modern approach to the character, taking a more active and somewhat quirky approach as Kaulder’s new handler.
3. Rose Leslie breaks out
She’s already won a legion of fans for her work on Game Of Thrones, but Scottish actor Rose Leslie really breaks out as the independent witch Chloe. This alluring character is equal parts punk rocker and earth princess, and despite being quickly pulled into Kaulder’s chaotic world, Chloe is more than capable of taking care of herself and kicking some serious ass.
2. Fire and iron
The action comes swiftly in The Last Witch Hunter, and it doesn’t let up as Diesel lays waste to the forces of darkness, as well as the feared and depraved Witch Queen. Diesel dives headfirst into the action, and the film’s opening swordplay within the Plague Tree makes for a very compelling watch, and is only matched by the ferocity that Kaulder displays when he confronts the Witch Queen at the film’s culmination.
1. Vin Diesel in unfamiliar territory
While he’s one of Hollywood’s go-to action stars, Vin Diesel has never been the subject of a truly archetypal hero’s journey, often opting for hardline anti-hero roles. Fortunately in the Last Witch Hunter he’s afforded this opportunity by director Breck Eisner. Kaulder is an eternal warrior, but even this mythic being faces questions and doubts. The character is offered plenty of opportunity for growth as he seeks to overcome past mistakes to save all of humanity, and Vin Diesel attacks this perfectly.
The Last Witch Hunter is currently screening in US and UK cinemas, and will reach NZ and Australia on October 29.
Image source: eOne Films.