Is ‘The Last Witch Hunter’ the perfect Halloween thriller?

Despite impressive visuals and action sequences,

Summit Entertainment / IMDB

Despite impressive visuals and action sequences, “The Last Witch Hunter” falls short on character development and pacing.

Jason Zheng, Staff Writer

“The Last Witch Hunter,” released on Oct. 23, was released just in time for Halloween. However, I feel that this movie was probably rushed in order to make the release date, since the story and character development is a bit shoddy.

“Fast and Furious” veteran Vin Diesel stars as Kaulder, an immortal witch hunter. He has been hunting down witches and saving the world into the modern era. When his faithful priest is incapacitated due to a curse, he resolves to track down the person he believes is responsible, but ends up discovering a deeper plot that involves an enemy from his past.

“The Last Witch Hunter” is full of action from start to finish. The beginning itself depicts a younger Kaulder in the 1200s, battling a witch who was apparently responsible for the Black Death. The action sequences feature impressive visuals, such as flaming blades and storms.

Well-known faces make up the cast of the film. Besides Diesel, other notable cast members include Michael Caine as Kaulder’s priest, the 36th Dolan; similar to Caine’s role as Alfred Pennyworth from Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” trilogy. As the 36th Dolan, Caine portrays a wise character who has a strong sense of loyalty, but his character is restricted by the curse. Another familiar face in this film is Elijah Wood, who plays the successor of Caine’s character, the 37th Dolan. Wood’s character, surprisingly, is not what he seems to be, which makes him a more dynamic and intriguing character. Rose Leslie, best known as Ygritte from “Game of Thrones,” appears as Chloe, a young witch who helps Kaulder find out the identity of the 36th Dolan’s curser. She becomes a fairly likable character as the film goes on.

Compared to the visuals, action sequences, and cast, the plot is relatively dull. The movie leaves little room for character development, and many of the characters are hard to relate to and can be forgettable at times. Several classic tropes related to movies containing sorcery are thrown into the mix with a modern twist, but the modern elements do not excuse the plot’s clichés.

Overall, “The Last Witch Hunter” is great for “Fast and Furious” fans who want to see Vin Diesel in a Halloween thriller. However, because of the pacing of the story and low character development, it is nothing special.

The movie is rated PG-13 for intense action sequences, blood, and mild use of language.

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