Less can definitely be more, especially in Hollywood.
It is not a coincidence that so many verbally-challenged men have become action heroes. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Seagal and Keanu Reeves have all had tremendous action movie success while delivering their dialogue with the emotional complexity of a ham sandwich.
This is what works, though. Simplicity is conducive to action movie success because the genre is about raw emotion and impulse. These are the things that have made Vin Diesel successful in his “Fast & Furious” series, and these are the things that make him an utter failure in “The Last Witch Hunter.”
This is a movie that has Diesel talking too much and shooting too little. The story is a silly and muddled monster mash cliché that insults the audience by taking itself as seriously as it does. I have skipped through more impressive stories in Nintendo 64 games.
“The Last Witch Hunter” is recycled Hollywood dreck in its purest form. Look no further than the rest of the casting to see how desperately the studio is attempting to recreate another cash cow franchise. You have Elijah Wood from “Lord of the Rings,” Rose Leslie from “Game of Thrones” and Michael Caine who is only written into the script so he can deliver cool lines the way he did in the trailers for “The Dark Knight.”
The monster hunter thing was fresh and fun, so were the first two “Blade” movies. But that was because they kept it lean and mean, and best of all, gruesome and scary. The “Underworld” series did a decent job of that as well, but it was already a watered-down version of the concept.
“The Last Witch Hunter” is worse than watered-down, it is basically Hollywood peeing into an empty bottle of nice tequila and trying to resell it at the original price. Do your best to avoid choking down this swill. Instead, smash the bottle over the head of the person who tells you to go watch it.
“The Last Witch Hunter” is hopefully not the first of a franchise, and only manages to earn 3 “Melissa Joan Harts” out of 10.