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The Witcher Season 3 Volume 1 review: Henry Cavill’s swansong is a beautiful mess | Movie Reviews

The Witcher was a curious offering from Netflix. Upon its announcement in 2019, the biggest concern was who would be playing Geralt of Rivia.  Fans of author Andrzej Sapkowski and the gaming enthusiasts alike rooted for it. They were even reassured by Henry Cavill’s casting, as he’s a self-proclaimed gamer himself. Four years later, we’ll see the last of Cavill when the second half of The Witcher Season 3 comes out next July. Is his farewell to The Witcher worth watching? Yes, but there are an overwhelming degree of caveats.

3 things you need to know: 

  • The Witcher is an action-fantasy series by creator Lauren Schmidt Hissrich. 
  • The third season of the show marks the last of Henry Cavill playing the role Geralt of Rivia.
  • Liam Hemsworth will be playing the role of Geralt from Season 4.

Hot take 

It has been a disappointing experience watching The Witcher Season 3 so far. It’s clear as day that the new season uses Sapkowski’s brilliant world-building from Time of Contempt to the best of their capability, but they’re not using the right parts. 

Geralt of Rivia, Yennefer, The Witcher, Henry Cavill

(Geralt of Rvia and Yennefer in The Witcher Season 3 | Image: witchernetflix)

Sapkowski’s work is known particularly because it’s not political. Season 3, on the other hand, is leaning into it as mages, beasts and monarchs all want a hold of the Continent. Being political doesn’t automatically make The Witcher bad, but abandoning its originality for a formulaic approach certainly affects it negatively. Moreover, the amount of exposition The Witcher Season 3 features will make you feel like you’re 5 and everything has to be explained to you. It is certainly great for personal nostalgia but not great for the show. 

Does it live up to the hype?

If you’re watching the show for Henry Cavill and the action, then definitely. It’s his swansong after all, and he doesn’t seem to be undermined by any measure. In fact, his portrayal of Geralt of Rivia in this season showcases a wider range of emotions than he has ever displayed before.

The Witcher, Freya Allen, Ciri

(Freya Allen as Ciri in The Witcher Season 3 | Image: witchernetflix)

That being said, if you’re somehow hoping that the sanctity of the lore is maintained by any extent, brace yourself. The Witcher Season 3 abandons the very creative streak that made its first season so triumphant. The non-linear storytelling that felt brave in the first season still continues. However, seeing the same old political drama unfolding from a different perspective does not enhance the drama of the storyline at all.

Stream it or skip it?

It is unmissable, but that’s not being said enthusiastically. Only five episodes are out yet, and while there are several sequences featuring Geralt, Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) and Ciri (Freya Allan), their dynamics should have been explored more. The union of Geralt, Yennefer and Ciri as a sort of family was what has been the main peg of the show since the beginning.

While a sense of connection was established, the subplots prove to be too distracting. If you’ve stuck around for the last two seasons, The Witcher Season 3 will only take the wheel forward from that. 

Henry Cavill, The Witcher, Geralt of Rivia

(Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher Season 3 | Image: witchernetflix)

The finale for the show will definitely result in a spectacle, as the first volume was essentially a build-up for what’s to come. However, maintain expectations as the show either bores you into submission or wins you over with its action. 

The Bottomline: 

The Witcher Season 3 is the culmination of a lot of things, and it feels like it has an identity crisis. The reception to Season 2 was underwhelming, and all the backstage tensions broke into a blame game. Season 3, therefore, feels like a calculated foray into grounds that were not meant for The Witcher to take. To summarise, toss a coin to Geralt of Rivia if you see him, but don’t spare any nickel for the rest.

Rating: 2.5/5

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