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The Last Witch Hunter

Swell FX and not much else dominate this urban fantasy movie that absolutely reeks of familiar material. Vin Diesel’s witch hunter, Kaulder, is immortal and prefers swords, much like the Highlander. He canters with a bit of the swagger of author Jim Butcher’s wizard PI, Harry Dresden, through a world of witches and demons that recalls weird, occult-set video games like “Devil May Cry” and “Bayonetta.” Kaulder’s tragic past hints at video game smash “God of War,” while the whole aesthetic is a bit “Max Payne.”

In short, Last Witch Hunter is light on originality or sense and heavy on the kind of dumb fun that can while away a rainy weekend of cable movie watching. The possibly miscast Diesel charms his way through several scenes like he’s back playing extreme 00 agent XXX, which fails to fit the fantasy vibe. Michael Caine and Elijah Wood tag team the role of Kaulder’s priestly protector and pal. Big bads Belial (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson) and the Witch Queen (Julie Engelbrecht) are generic and unmemorable. Occasionally rushed and poorly explained, the movie’s last act suffers from an uninteresting “twist” that will not surprise anyone—even the guy who was not really paying attention.