And if it’s hard to buy the star as a 14th-century soldier of the Catholic Church, earnestly slaying sorceresses for 700 years without a wrinkle to show for it, the screenplay (bearing evident redrafting scars from a trio of scribes) doesn’t make much of an effort to sell the idea.
For starters, it’s uncertain where our noble witch-hunter, Kaulder, actually comes from: Based on scant evidence in the pre-credit prologue, let’s say it’s the little-remembered European land of Snowsylvania, though eight centuries has been long enough for him to adopt Diesel’s trademark gravelly drawl.
Yet if its aim is to reposition him as a solo action star, perhaps re-engaging the dwindling audience for the “Riddick” films, this new vehicle doesn’t really play to his strengths — despite being developed and co-produced by the actor himself.
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