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.
Once a mercenary of Queen Elizabeth I fighting Spaniards in Africa, Solomon met the Devil's Reaper and discovered he was bound for hell. Barely escaping, he soon renounced violence to atone for his past sins, seeking out redemption in a life of peace. That is until the followers of sorcerer Malachi kidnap a Puritan girl, Meredith Crowthorn, and brutally slaughter her family before his very eyes, forcing Solomon to take up arms and return to his violent ways once more to rescue her. Written by
corsos, corrected by Pike84
The criticisms of this film are inevitable, and not entirely incorrect. But for me, Solomon Kane rises above the usual formula in numerous ways.
First, the character: much darker and more conflicted than your average action hero. Second, a story that gives that character time to breathe and grow, instead of becoming lost in a morass of action sequences and CG effects. Third, a gritty, uncluttered, near-monochromatic look that's perfectly suited to the character and story, and frequently a sheer wonder to behold. The visuals are evocative of great fantasy artists like Frank Frazetta and Jeff Jones; there are numerous shots in this film I'd happily hang on my wall.
Of course, Kane himself is the film's dominant image - and it is a memorable one. But Kane not only looks striking in the flat hat and dark cloak, he has the dour personality to match. And a fighting style that for once fits the mood, and suggests a human adventurer with limited abilities, as opposed to the usual samurai-ninja superhero.
IS this truly "Robert E. Howard's" Solomon Kane? Y'know what - I don't care. Howard didn't write a lot of Kane stories, and although I did read them years ago, they left very little impression on my memory. What's more, I have nothing against films that are happy to be 'inspired by' literary works, without slavishly transferring every word to the screen. What Solomon Kane, the movie, DOES get right is the SPIRIT of Robert E. Howard's work - the dark vision, the creepy situations, the sense of a man struggling against forces only dimly understood and much larger than himself.
The slow pacing? This is the film's BEST point. Early on, the film focuses on Kane's personality, and his relationships with others. It sets a mood. Too many action films are in too much of a hurry to get to the action. Solomon Kane doesn't cater to the ADD-addled audience, and if that's a mistake it falls in the area of marketing, not creativity. I particularly liked the ending... instead of lingering endlessly over the climactic fight, the film just gets on with the story.
Solomon Kane isn't exactly a classic, but it has an appealing simplicity and an inner strength that bigger-budget spectaculars could learn from. I guess a sequel is too much to hope for at this point, but I'll definitely be looking forward to Michael J. Bassett's next creation, whatever it may be.
52 of 66 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?