The Last Witch Hunter - This Full Of Trees Movie Does Not Rock
Dir: Breck Eisner
Starring Vin Diesel, Michael Caine, Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood
Odd that Groot should end up headlining a movie that features so many badly CGI’d trees. This is Vin aiming for a new franchise, and falling flat on his arse. He’s an 800 year old non-Highlander immortal (although apparently there can still be only one) out in modern day New York to take down the witch – who’s a tree – he took down 800 years previous – when she was a tree. And he spends most of the movie searching for a memory spell so he can remember what it is he’s supposed to be doing in the first place. (Here’s a clue Vin – look for a tree!)
Along the way he spends time with Michael Caine, doing a strict paycheck movie for the first time in quite some while – must have been a big cheque because this one doesn’t even offer the man an exotic location. Elijah Wood also shows up looking like he’s eager to fund another record label, and, of the main team, only Rose Leslie looks like she’s putting the work in. Diesel himself is fine when it comes to the action bits, less so when he’s trying to be endearing, clearly mistaking “charm” for “smug conceit.” And when he puts his arm around Leslie to comfort her upset young witch, you can’t help but think of the Child Catcher from Chitty. And then the whole thing just goes all Ghostbusters for its final act.
And what’s with all these bloody trees? It seems that every recent period fantasy action movie – from Hansel & Gretel to Jack The Giant Slayer to Seventh Son to Maleficent and beyond are chock full of possessed CGI trees. And they really look like CGI trees!
Eisner once again proves himself a master of the bungled action moment, with a film that verges sharply from dull to duller. Caine counts the money behind his eyes, which still manages to be more than Diesel brings to the table.
Still born, malformed and deeply nothing much – and was that an intended Fast & Furious gag at the end? Shudder to think. The poster says “Live Forever.” Lasts Forever more like.
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