Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Last Witch Hunter

800 years ago a group of warriors, who fancy themselves as witch hunters, strikes out to destroy a coven of witches. Well this not any ordinary coven, it is lead by the Witch Queen, who is a big deal. During the conflict one witch hunter faces off against the queen. As he slays her she curses him with immortality, not a terrible curse if you ask me. From that point on this lone warrior, Kaulder, is the witch hunter to end all witch hunters. Now after 800 years the Witch Queen is rumored to be coming back from beyond. It is now up to Kaulder to put her down a second time.

Ok before I go any further first know this. This movie is not great if you are a normie or not a hard core nerd. Stay away, and by the looks of it you people did.

Now if you are a D&D (or any type of fantasy RPG'er ) then there is something in this movie for you or many somethings. You might actually like it, like we did.

Movie The Last Witch Hunter
If this is your typical of your gaming group, then you'll love this movie!


The plot is feels like a D&D module as you watch it. You are introduced to a world/area. There are all the bits of exploration that seem like what the DM would be reading to you as Kaulder moves through the world.  The various actions pieces are either skill check encounters or combat encounters. The plot was a few twists and turns to keep the player just off balance. There is the final boss conflict and then you get your XP. I guess this can be said for any movie, but The Last Witch Hunter just feels like it so much more than most. It must be the fantasy setting and all associated bits.

What did I really like? Why was this fun? Well there is a Highlander feel to Kaulder, and I love me some Highlander. The bit about that Witch Queen starting the Black Plague to end humanity was a fun touch. The fantasy world being alive and well in the normal human world is always good. It has a bit of buddy cop film in it. Rose Leslie needs more work and not just in the fantasy realms (here and Westeros). She look of the Witch Queen is great looking. She is a really cool looking hag and plant vine with a vertebrae skull hair piece. The big creepy witch tree makes for a great encounter location and might show up in a further D&D campaign. Kaulder in his  past fully armored looks like he walked right out of a D&D campaign. Even better he is multiclass warrior/mage or a specialized warrior/priest. The Sentinel is a guardian in a witch prison. It looks like a Bone Swarm and Wold from Immoren were crossed and made into a fantastic warbeast. Please Privateer Press, make a giant Bone Swarm scorpion warbeast! Ummm...he wields a Flametounge sword to boot! The coolest sword in D&D in my opinion. A gods damn Flametounge finally on film!


Now if there was an issue I thought it was technical. The great action piece against the sentinel ( or not bone golem) is dark and janky. The camera movement is terrible. You cannot see much of anything either. I wanted to  see some ultimate show own and instead got a dark muddy mess. The fight with the witch coven at the beginning is very dark and fast. A bit disappointing there.

There is a lot jiggly camera going on here too. Not the full fast shaky cam I hate, but subtle jiggly camera work when you don't expect it. While talking with Michael Caine the scene was just wobbly for why exactly? Later when talking to priest Frodo the same thing is happening. Why? It was so irritating. It happens a few times and it is awful.

Elijah Wood was really an bit of an after thought here. I though he would have a much deeper role.

This is an original fantasy movie. This is based on nothing! For all the nagging by people who want original films, here is one! Holy crap everyone should love the fact this is not another comic book movie or reboot of a known franchise. Sure there are tropes of many other movies in this movie, but it is still an original damn fantasy movie. I have really missed those! Remember the hey days of fantasy movies from the 80's? Sure there was a lot of drek, but there was still something to like in all of them, even Deathstalker! Yes. Deathstalker!

<i>The Last Witch Hunter</i>

The Last Witch Hunter will not please (and didn't) normal people. If you love fantasy, rpg's or both then this is a damn enjoyable film. It is everything I want from fantasy movies.

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