A ruthless mercenary renounces violence after learning his soul is bound for hell. When a young girl is kidnapped and her family slain by a sorcerer's murderous cult, he is forced to fight and seek his redemption slaying evil.
Michael J. Bassett
Max von Sydow,
A quest that begins as a personal vendetta for the fierce Cimmerian warrior soon turns into an epic battle against hulking rivals, horrific monsters, and impossible odds, as Conan realizes he is the only hope of saving the great nations of Hyboria from an encroaching reign of supernatural evil. Written by
The Studios NEED real people standing over their shoulders ...
I'm not going to get into the plot set-up and all that other stuff which has already been prefaced to this movie's release a thousand different ways. Just straight to the review ...
The entire introduction sequence at the beginning of this Conan was great, up until you see the Jason as the adult Conan. The child actor who played young Conan was broodier, and the sequence where he proves himself as a warrior was more dynamic and believable than most of the other action sequences in the movie. I really enjoyed that entire first portion of the movie, but it went down hill after that.
Jason Mamoa can be a really good Conan. He brought some new flare to the character, but I have to say that ultimately I'm split between him and Arnie, with a bit more leaning to Arnie's Conan. The director, and Jason himself, almost made this Conan rather "sun-shiney" and somewhat fluffy. They had all the sequences they needed to really get dark with him, but they kept it fairly light. With the exception of some mild nudity they really didn't take advantage of the "R" rating. With exception to that mild nudity much of this movie felt like a made-for-TV movie more so than something which should be in the theaters.
Plot ... bleh. It was a weak twist on the original movie's plot. Nothing special in any way, shape or form. In watching Conan go through the progression of the plot I felt like I was watching a video game play out where he was just maneuvering through the different level bosses of the game to his ultimate goal. To say the plot was formula is almost an insult to formula plots.
The CGI, especially in the scenics, was entirely too obvious and very light-hearted comic book-ish. I know there was a lot in this movie where they were drawing upon the great Frazetta artworks, but they missed the marks several times. At the end of the movie, as with many other contemporary special effects movies, I was missing the days of mechanical special effects and matte paintings as backdrops. CGI has destroyed a lot of movies over the years and this was another victim of the over-reliance that's been wrought by the movie industry.
The Studios NEED real people standing over their shoulders DURING production of what should be great movies, ESPECIALLY when there's already a fan base for the subject matter. They need people who aren't afraid to NOT be "Yes Men" and tell them straight up that something is stupid, or over-done, or under-done or just plain not right and let's start it over. The Studios don't have the genital fortitude to do this, so this is the kind of disappointment we have to live through 2 hours at a time throughout our lives. This movie could have been a beginning-of-summer blockbuster, but instead it's stuck in the "could-have-been" file.
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