Review: Conan – The Barbarian

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reviewer: Dexter Kong
Rated: 15 (UK)
Release Date: 24th August 2011
DirectorMarcus Nispel
Cast:  Jason MomoaRon Perlman , Rose McGowan , Stephen Lang,

So here it is, the inevitable Conan remake.. Was the original a masterpiece?No. Was it entertaining? Yes. Largely due to the stoney, accent laden delivery of Arnold Schwarz. So going off the archetype of the original, the new Conan’s aim should be: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.

The new Conan sees Jason Momoa step in to the role of the title character, again he is on a quest to avenge to death of his family as his village is slaughtered by a marauding Army, who are seeking to piece together a mask that should make the wearer godlike. Momoa does as required, looking beefy, angry and constantly talking in a serious manner. The problem with the actual film itself is that the writers almost forget what they’ve laid out before and constantly ignore BIG plot points, carrying on toward an aimless ending.

Some key plot fails I like are: the barbarian tribe worship some form of God. This is the reason for Conan’s father (played by Rom Perlman) to say “By Crom boy”. Except later on in the film we get one of the villains saying, “it is said that they workshop no god but steel” or something thereabouts, trying to make Conan seem like some unrelenting warrior…, you’ve clearly just laid out before that they do worship a God. The second massive fail I like is that the gigantic ending for which essentially the entire reason the film exists actually just ignores any sort of set up; turns out the magic helmet which starts off being set up as magical and containing magical properties, is just a normal helmet adding nothing, making the entire film utterly pointless. This annoyance is compounded even more by the ten minutes of exposition at the beginning of the film, voiced by Morgan Freeman. Ten unrelated Freeman minutes! At least they attempted to absolutely vilify the main enemy by implying an incestuous relationship between him & his daughter, how nuanced.

So, is there enemies being crushed? Yes, there is absolutely loads of this. Are they driven before Conan? Yes, but not by plot. Do we hear the lamentation of women? Yes.. it is a Conan film.

If you’re looking for a film which has ample amounts of bloodshed, naked women, hearty laughing at people punching things then this is probably for you. At the same time you can get the same amount of enjoyment probably from watching a five minute action montage on YouTube. The original Conan was the good side of bad, this new Conan attempts to try hard but fails. The 3D also has been poorly post converted with most things looking like cardboard cutouts. The only good that can be taken out of it is that Jason Momoa is actually a decent action star, the minimalist dialogue, lots of ass kicking type. If you’re smart enough, you can probably work out the film’s plot and outcome just from the poster.


Movie Rating: 2/5