“You know what I’m afraid of? Nothing, it gets boring.”
He intrigued audiences with his devilish charisma as the anti-hero Riddick, made a name as the criminal turned government agent in “XXX” and became an international sensation in his iconic role as Dominic Toretto in the “Fast and Furious” franchise. Now, action-star Vin Diesel takes on witches and dark magic in his latest action/fantasy entry, “The Last Witch Hunter.”
With Diesel’s achievements in the multibillion dollar, previously mentioned “Fast and Furious” films, it could be a sizeable adjustment for his fans to see him shift gears [pun intended] from action/adventure to a supernatural thriller such as “The Last Witch Hunter.” However, Diesel still displays that special talent that makes audiences love him, envy him and wish to be him at the same time.
Beginning around 800 years ago, Kaulder (Diesel) and a group Nordic-inspired witch hunters approach the lair of an all-powerful queen witch, responsible for unleashing the black death upon the world. Thwarting her tricks and decimating legions of her dark followers, Kaulder slays the queen witch, impaling her with his ancient fiery blade. In her final moments, the queen curses him with her own immortality, forever separating Kaulder from his beloved wife and daughter in the afterlife.
Forced to trek the world devoid of life and an aging appearance, Kaulder is the last warrior of his kind in service to an ancient order of priests and witches who oversee and police magical beings and abnormalities across the globe.
When his longtime assistant and mentor is attacked, Kaulder goes out searching for the conjurer of a sinister dark magic long believed to have been gone.
Going down this road, he uncovers a vendetta he never knew he had with an old acquaintance who aims to bring back the queen, who robbed him of everyone he loved.
This visual effects extravaganza of a film is strengthened by its international supporting cast of fantasy genre veterans, including the likes of Michael Caine (“Now You See Me”/The Dark Knight Trilogy”), Elijah Wood (“Lord of the Rings”), and “Game of Thrones” alumni Rose Leslie (aka Ygritte).
Diesel himself gives an exemplary demonstration of his swordsmanship training, proving his ability to interchange between character roles and continuing to show diversity in his dossier.
A large score of critics have already been quick to slash down Diesel’s latest film due perhaps to a script with greater focus on its mythological progression rather than a logical plotline.
While it is an acknowledgeable assessment, Breck Eisner, the film’s director and son of former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, delivers a solid tale of a immortal protagonist, which pays homage to previous folklore heavyweights like “Highlander,” “Blade,” and the “Underworld” franchise.
While the film was not an astounding success at the weekend box office, raking in just shy of $11 million on an estimated $90 million budget, this is far from Vin Diesel’s worst movie. If anything, it’s just a side project to pay the bills before jumping back into the A-Block Hollywood roles he has become associated with.
In addition to reprising his role for the third “XXX” in 2016, Diesel will be coming back as Dominic Toretto and Groot in 2017 respectively.
He might be pumping the brakes now, but stock up on that Nos because Diesel with come racing back soon to reclaim his place at the box office.
Brady Wesp is a Staff Writer for The Spectator.