Monday, August 22, 2011

Conan The Barbarian

When they say that Conan was 'born on the battlefield' they aren't kidding. I enjoyed the early scenes were we witness one of the right of passage among the Cimmerian youth.

We rarely get to see this culture before it gets destroyed and Conan is enslaved. The Cimmerians are a warrior culture who value strength as much as they value intelligence and guile. As great a warrior as Conan is, it's his intelligence as a thief and monster fighter that wins the day for him more often than use of the sword.

Ron Perlman was terrific as Conan's father who is both brave and wise and who sees great potential in his son.

This movie reminds one early on of the good old sword and sorcery films of the 80s with their good blood splattering combat against evil in the form of both man and beast. The CGI were interesting. The octopus and the sandmen scenes had a lot of zip to them. I would have loved those parts especially when I was a kid.

Of course someone had to decide to load up this movie with mystical mumbo jumbo and hyperbolic b.s. about ushering a new aqe blah blah blah. Then again, why do I expect from a CONAN movie.

Did you watch that freakin' octopus??? That didn't frighten you one bit?

For ONCE I would like to see one of these mystical virgin princesses NOT be the most beautiful girl in the village. Oh and look, she's spunky and brave and progressive in her politics...GAH. Why not some curvy redhead with ample cleavage who can read and write and made her own glasses. NOW we got us a movie.

This one plays like an above average episode of HERCULES or XENA. It has that 'done on a budget' lazy feel. The script could have used a few more trips through the word processor too. (The film makers promised me that they had no fewer than THREE monkeys working on this script at all times - I miss those days)

Who would expect that it was Conan who sent the first email or Cmail.

This one plays very much like a video game where all the characters are bound by destiny to meet. Ho hum. A ten year old could write this. Personally it seemed for the past two years that the all the snarling bad guy in the movies were being played by Steven Lang. I am getting a bit tired of all the stress he bring just be entering a room. I know what he has to say will NOT be good news for the characters.

And speaking of characters - not a single one fits in the world that the movie creates. I mean the villages look great, the costumes, the weapons are perfect. It's the PEOPLE who play this like they are on some ancient battle re-enactment weekend with the family. The invasions and burning villages lacks any real terror or tension.

So in the end, I leave the theatre feeling cheated. Even the ticket kid refused to meet my gaze as we passed at the top of the stairs. He knew. I knew. Conan knew.




Pearl said...

Have to admit I was quite a fan of the first one, but this looks to be more CGI than story.

I'll probably still see it.


Dan said...

I'd like to see them do a film adaptation of Red Nails or Hour of the Dragon. A good one - not a 'beastmaster redux'. Screw giving everyone an origin tale or backstory. It's overrated anyway. Just jump to the mayhem. That's what Conan is about anyway.

DTG Sakalasooriya said...

I still like Arnie's 1982 film. It was a good solid fantasy movie with some really good characters, and less special effects. This is where it excels over the newest Conan the Barbarian movie. But if you are a fan of Conan, then this is a must see movie.

Super-Duper ToyBox said...

i can't wait to see this- i don't care if it has a story or not lol!