The less said about the flop “The Last Witch Hunter,” the better.
But consider this. Would it have been made without Vin Diesel? And would Vin Diesel still have a career if the “Fast and Furious” franchise earned the sort of returns it so richly deserves?
Most of those movies are empty junkfood, at best, a marketing exercise in cross-cultural casting and automotive product placement. That goes for the hilariously, obscenely overrated “Furious 7,” which blew up the box office, and which delayed this “Witch Hunter” dog from reaching theaters.
The posing, growling Diesel has no career without a cool car beside him. Which is why his character, Kaulder, has an Aston Martin Rapide in “Witch Hunter.”
“Eight hundred years, I’ve been on this road. Always huntin’.”
I had no idea Aston Martin had been in production that long, but no matter. Kaulder has been made immortal, like his quarry, the world’s witches. Their special effects-augmented queen (Julie Engelbrecht) wants to bring on the witchworld apocalypse — aka “The Black Death.”
Kaulder’s going to need help bringing her down. That comes from a good witch, Chloe (Rose Leslie of “Game of Thrones”), a sidekick (Elijah Wood) and a Catholic sage wise in the ways of witches, who also narrates the film (Michael Caine).
“I’ve waited my whole life for the opportunity to help you!”
This is the sort of paycheck piffle that will keep Caine from gaining an Oscar nomination for “Youth.” Leslie probably wishes she was back on “Thrones,” stripped or unstripped.
“Who said a witch can’t hunt witches?”
Yeah, it took a trio of writers (with “Dracula Untold” among their credits) to deliver that zinger.
Breck Eisner (“The Crazies”) serves up a blur of dark and apocalyptic effects and parks the wooden Diesel right in front of them. To no avail. Would Eisner have a career without that magic surname? Probably not.
This abortion of a thriller fails, utterly, and bombed completely. So even though there’s a “Witch Hunter 2” in development, don’t count on it. Still, if you “Fast/Furious” fanatics keep propping up that franchise, who knows? Diesel’s got to do something between Dodge Charger commercials.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images
Cast: Vin Diesel, Michael Caine, Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood
Credits: Directed by Breck Eisner, script by Cory Goodman, Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless. A Summit release.
Running time: 1:46