A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Last Witch Hunter is a Vin Diesel action movie with horror elements. Expect lots of fairly brutal fantasy violence -- fighting, stabbing with swords or knives, guns and shooting, characters getting bashed around, minor characters dying -- though not much blood is actually shown. There's implied sex (the main character flirts with a flight attendant, who's later seen leaving his apartment), but nothing happens on screen. Viewers see several scenes of background and/or social drinking (no drunkenness), and language includes a few uses of "bitch" and "hell" (with a possible/obscured use of "s--t"). The movie is very poorly made, but it could attract some teens before it disappears forever.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
A warrior, Kaulder (Vin Diesel), destroys an evil witch queen. But just before she perishes, she curses him, giving him immortality. Eight hundred years later, in the present day, Kaulder is a professional witch hunter, working with a secret society of helpers called Dolans; the latest one (Michael Caine) is near retirement, and a replacement (Elijah Wood) is being trained. Kaulder discovers an evil plot to break the truce between humans and witches by resurrecting the witch queen, who will then unleash a plague upon the world. Only a helpful witch, Chloe (Rose Leslie), with "dream walking" powers, can help Kaulder discover the witch queen's secret -- and the secret of his own existence.
Is it any good?
Noisy and choppy, with shoddy, sludgy-looking digital effects and half-baked characters wandering through a ridiculous plot, this movie would appear to be under a curse of its own. Director Breck Eisner is known for making one of the biggest money-losers in Hollywood history, Sahara (2005), and his bad luck seems to continue with THE LAST WITCH HUNTER.
The one-dimensional villains -- led by a monstrous witch covered in rubbery goop -- cackle and snarl while fighting an equally one-dimensional "good guy." Diesel more or less reprises his character from the Fast/Furious movies, so cool and self-sufficient that he's a chore to be around, and certainly his co-stars show the strain, feeling useless in his presence. And while the dialogue can be painfully awkward, it's not as awkward as the final plot twist and the pathetic attempt to set up a sequel and/or franchise.
Talk to your kids about ...
Is the movie scary? How does this view of witches compare to those of other movies or stories?
How is sex portrayed in the movie? What's implied? Is it shown in a positive or negative light?
How are in-charge female characters treated in the movie? Do you think that reinforces or undermines typical gender roles?
Since the main character is immortal and seems to have learned everything about everything, what makes him interesting (or not interesting)?
- In theaters: October 23, 2015
- On DVD or streaming: February 2, 2016
- Cast: Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood
- Director: Breck Eisner
- Studio: Summit Entertainment
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy
- Run time: 106 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.