The first trailer for Vin Diesel’s upcoming action-fantasy event The Last Witch Hunter has the star "furiously" battling dark, demented demonstrators of the dark arts in what is being called, "a war between our world and the next." And how, pray-tell, will Mr. Diesel win against such powerfully unbridled bellicose benefactors of evil? With A FLAMING BROADSWORD! As if this needed further explanation beyond that, check out the trailer in all its glory.
What might jump out immediately to those following the development of this production is that Vin Diesel appears looking exactly like Vin Diesel. This is a bit of surprise, since every picture we’ve seen from the film has depicted the actor sporting a Viking-like appearance with a high-and-tight haircut and a long, intricately braided beard. However, given what we’re seeing in the trailer, those photos were likely taken while shooting flashback scenes, possibly exploring the historical past of the immortal witch-whacker. The film takes place in modern New York City where Kaulder is still making life abysmal for magic-abusing asshats. And by "abysmal" we mean "not continue any point further."
This trailer - which comes to us from MTV - seems to depict a deceptively normal New York City that apparently exists in a world where witches, warlocks and other mystical practitioners exist beneath the veneer of the status quo. Diesel’s Kaulder is apparently the last of a line of hunters who have been tasked with dispatching this unseemly element from this mortal coil. In a battle centuries ago, Kaulder slayed a supremely powerful Queen Witch (Julie Engelbrecht), but just before expiring, she would place a curse on him, making him immortal. While that might seem like a favor, in actuality, it would forever separate Kaulder from his wife and daughter in the afterlife… which, we’ll assume in his particular case is a bad thing. However, it seems that death isn’t stopping the Queen Witch from calling it a comeback.
Now, with the Queen Witch’s collective of conjurors in the modern world, ready to do things we presume to be apocalyptic and generally impolite, Kaulder is the only one with the lineage to address this cross-plane crisis. Joined by a red-haired beauty named Chloe (Games of Thrones’ Rose Leslie) - who’s also looking to help Kaulder make evil "Ygritte" their actions (**rimshot**) - they’ll be taking the fight directly to the freakiness. The film also stars Michael Caine (seen giving helpful exposition), Elijah Wood, Icelandic-American actor Ólafur Darri Ólafsson playing a freakish magical fiend, and Lotte Verbeek of TV’s Outlander.
The film is clearly a drastically different thematic turn for the career of Vin Diesel, who also seems to be utilizing some vague "I’m not playing Vin Diesel" accent. It does stand as a bizarre parallel after just reprising his role of Dominic Toretto in Furious 7, which will soon be rounding a ridiculous $1.5 billion at the box-office. However, his strong presence as a perennial ass-kicker should help the film break away from recent genre-similar mythology-centric films that didn’t quite pass muster like Nicolas Cage’s Season of the Witch and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.
The Last Witch Hunter will have Vin Diesel using the ostentation of a flaming sword to make evil generally feel bad about itself during the Halloween season when it hits theaters on October 23rd.