Cert 12A | ★★☆☆☆
There’s a fun bit in The Last Witch Hunter, when the last witch hunter, having just hunted another witch, is surprised to learn that there’s an entire prison full of witches out there somewhere, just waiting to be hunted, by him, the hunter of witches. But what is this place called?
“The witch prison,” intones Michael Caine, the last witch hunter’s handler and oldest friend, before the cinema laughs out loud, the word “witch” having been said so many times now that it no longer makes any sense. It’s just a weird sound the actors keep making with their faces. Witch. Witch. Witch.
Not making much sense is routine for this mystical action-fantasy Vin Diesel film, in which he plays an 800 year old witch hunter cursed with immortality and morally compelled to police the planet’s secret population of undercover witches. Things play out like a sorcery-tinged procedural, as Vin and his friends (priestly recruit Elijah Wood and friendly witch Rose Leslie) investigate an underground society of potion-quaffing spellcasters in their efforts to uncover which witch is behind an imminent witch uprising.
When he’s not starring in CSI: Hogwarts, Vin’s slicing his way through baddies with his giant flaming sword and tumbling through his own medieval memories, in which he grieves for his long dead family while rocking a spectacularly braided beard. Facial hair and fiery blades aren’t enough to carry this cheesy mess of CGI-heavy witch-battling though, and in our growing list of favourite Lasts, Witch Hunter sits somewhere between Airbender and Mohicans, but far short of the Summer Wine.