'Hunter' offers refreshing spin on witch lore

Vin Diesel and Rose Leslie in "The Last Witch Hunter" (Summit Entertainment)

Vin Diesel and Rose Leslie in "The Last Witch Hunter" (Summit Entertainment)

The Last Witch Hunter, the movie in which Vin Diesel's inner nerd is finally allowed to shine, offers refreshing new perspectives to very familiar concepts. However, its creativity and originality quickly dry up, and the plot and characters are left to suffer from the same tired clichés you've seen a hundred times.

Still, the movie has its merits, with supporting characters played by Michael Caine and Elijah Wood, and fun, upbeat humor to keep the audience engaged through a tired, overused story. As with almost every other fantasy/sci-fi story, it's fun to learn the rules of this world; to see how the things we see every day and consider "normal" translate in this fictional world (seeing inside a bar for witches, for instance, or learning that super-models are actually witches who use spells to preserve the youth and beauty indefinitely); to learn the laws of this world and watch the judicial process unfold when laws are broken.

However, none of this can fix a predictable storyline most audiences will have seen many times, nor cookie-cutter characters that never fail to disappoint in doing exactly what you expect them to do.

That isn't to say this movie doesn't take a few interesting turns you may not see coming, but, overall, I didn't feel that happened often enough.

But hey, if you don't mind Vin Diesel, he actually turns in an alright performance. It's interesting to see him in a role like this - to go from mumbling street racer with few facial expressions, to slightly more coherent witch hunter with a couple more facial expressions - and he seems to have fun with it. The other actors' performances don't hold up as well, I'm afraid, with the female lead (played by Rose Leslie) being the worst offender.

Overall: it's PG-13 with no nudity and very little swearing; the effects and humor hold up well, even if the performances and plot do not; and it's a fun, cool concept that offers a refreshing spin on witch lore. I give it 2 out of 4 Miners.