If ‘Vin Diesel fights witches’ doesn’t have you running to the cinema, you can probably safely avoid The Last Witch Hunter, a movie that sadly fails to transcend that goofy premise. It’s the kind of film you assume must be based on a comic book, but isn’t.
If you do have a soft spot for films where magic rubs up against everyday life you might find something to enjoy here. Ghostbusters is blatantly referenced, but a better comparison is 2005’s Constantine, which starred Keanu Reeves as a similarly magical detective with similarly sharp taste in outerwear.
This is a confusing film, throwing in unexplained occurrences at an increasing rate (an early example is a bakery that sells cupcakes full of larvae for some reason), before melting down in a finale that defies any effort at explanation. At times The Last Witch Hunter gets so audacious in its defiance of clarity it becomes weirdly admirable.
It’s also peppered with off-camera expository dialogue and other signs of post-production tampering, apparent efforts to contain its nonsensical plot like sellotape struggling to hold together a shoddily-wrapped gift.
Rose Leslie is the most valuable cast member, always endearing despite playing a perfunctory role. And when he’s not being stoic Vin smiles a lot, which is when he’s at his best. The moments the film works are the ones where his charm and enthusiasm anchor all the silliness that’s occurring, but for the most part The Last Witch Hunter is devoid of much fun, and therefore pointless.