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Solomon Kane More at IMDbPro »

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41 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

Great Sword & Sorcery Film

Author: Crossplain Pilgrim from United States
18 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I actually saw "Solomon Kane" at the Alamo Draft House screening in Austin. Terrific film. It was a real thrill to see a high adventure film with strains of horror and fantasy. These days films like this are far and few between. I can't think of a S&S film since the first Conan film that has taken this serious, respectful approach to the genre. It's an origin story that Robert E. Howard never wrote, but in the opinion of this long time REH reader it is Howard's Solomon Kane up there on the screen. Michael J. Bassett's direction is classic in style and many of the shots are beautifully framed. James Purefoy gives a haunting, powerful perfromance as Kane and the supporting cast, which includes Max Von Sydow, is excellent.

The film boasts surprisingly high production values with great sets, costumes, special effects, and many well-staged sword fights. If you consider the Rings films heroic fantasy rather than the more down and dirty Sword and Sorcery genre, this dark and gritty "Solomon Kane" may be the best S&S film ever made.

I wouldn't put too much stock in that "Bloody Disgusting" review. It is so wildly out of sinc with even the other negative reviews as to lack credibility. The positive reviews greatly outnumber the bad ones, by the way. Reading that review, I was thinking to myself, what film did this guy see?

If you like great rousing adventure mixed with some horror and fantasy, do yourself a favor and be your own judge. Go see "Solomon Kane" when it comes to a theater near you.

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42 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

Given the circumstances, it was a good movie

Author: siderite from Romania
12 June 2010

The film is one of those things that you immediately "feel" it is wrong. No known actors except old guys like Max von Sydow, who get a small role anyway, an almost unknown lead character and a lot of attitude, like the movie is taking itself really seriously. Most of this kind of movies end up as pretentious flops.

Solomon Kane, however, did not. It was a reasonable movie, given the low production values and the video game like story. The thing is, the people working on it obviously made an effort. Strangely enough, it seems this sort of effort is what lacks in many films these days, even high budget ones, so this lifts Solomon Kane quite a lot.

Unfortunately, the film was not great. It was, I feel, the best they could do under the circumstances, and I applaud that, though. Better than The Book of Eli, but still the same superheroy feeling.

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43 out of 64 people found the following review useful:

Solomon Kane is More than An Action Adventure

Author: scteel2 from United States
22 September 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


I attended both screenings of Solomon Kane at TIFF. I thought it was outstanding, and I am familiar with the Solomon Kane stories. The cinematography is beautiful, the score is amazing, the performances are fantastic, and the overtones are subtle. James Purefoy's performance is perfect. He's engaging, mysterious, and we want to follow him on his journey. There are some very powerful, intense scenes I felt were quite moving. The film definitely has a dark and somber tone, which is exactly what I wanted from this story. Though fewer then the very positive, the negative reviews are boggling my mind. Everyone has their opinion, I suppose, including me, but I wonder if these people even watched the same movie I did?

We first meet Kane as an evil, greedy man. When he comes face to face with an agent of Satan, however, he narrowly escapes an eternity in hell and renounces his violent and sinful ways. He spends the next year praying for redemption at a monastery, but is forced by the priests to leave, as God has a different plan in store for Kane, albeit they are unsure of what that may be. His passive behavior is tested almost immediately when a gang of thieves rob and beat him viciously. He could easily slice up these thugs in the blink of an eye, but rather, he suffers through quietly and takes their abuse. Kane is found and cared for by a Puritan family, head beautifully by Alice Krige and Pete Postlethwaite, and we just know that horrible things are going to happen to them. When they do, Kane abolishes his new found, non-violent ways in order to save them and their young daughter, Meredith. On his quest to rescue her, Kane is tested over and over until a final, spectacular encounter with evil. Who will finally win the battle for Kane's soul?

I read one review that called Kane's motives selfish. Well, at first, they are. His quest for redemption is driven by his desire not to go to hell. However, that reviewer missed the point. It's when Kane risks going to hell in order to save the family he has grown to love that the true test of his character is revealed. It's the complete opposite of selfish and we're right there rooting for him. We can see he is truly a changed man, worthy of a second chance.

What most impressed me about the film was its physical beauty. The action sequences are realistic and sweeping, as is the landscape, used brilliantly by director Bassett. One shot is particularly breathtaking as Kane plummets to the ground in slow motion from the cross to which he'd been nailed. He looks like a fallen angel, which I suppose, in a way he is. This movie is far more than entertaining fluff and comic book folly. It is a fine achievement in film-making. The director, cast and crew's hard work has truly paid off. I hope everyone will get the chance to see it.

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26 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Deserves much higher recognition, superb.

Author: jehefinner-290-984336 from United Kingdom
12 February 2012

As an avid reader of Gothic fantasy I am not easily pleased when it comes to big screen versions of these kinds of stories. After so many disappointments in the past when stories falter or special effects either take over the screen or are shoddy and laughable I alway feel as apprehensive as I do interested when I start watching a film like this.

However, I can honestly say that this film is one of the best I have ever seen. I wish I'd seen in it a cinema, but hadn't heard of it. As soon as the final credits rolled I wanted to watch it all over again, and instantly went online and bought the DVD, something I rarely do.

Everything about this film blew me away, from the atmosphere of gritty cold despair, the incredible (British!!!) cast, to the imagery and beauty of some of the scenes. I could wax lyrical about so many parts of this film that I'd basically be commenting on virtually every scene. I don't know where I'd start, and once I did, I wouldn't be able to stop.

I can't believe it's not been released in the US yet, and I sincerely hope it will be re-released in cinemas here in the UK sometime in the near future, as I would love to see it on a big screen.

Fantastic. Just utterly made of every kind of Win imaginable.

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20 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Beginning good but the movies looses the plot

Author: ghasl1 from Canada
8 May 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched this movie in thinking this will be awesome it was in the beginning then it just suddenly got dull, they just lost the plot even if it was just redemption it didn't elaborate or continue on. It was like watching a silent movie without subtitles. There were little action scenes the baddies were pathetic didn't seem to pose a threat. And it was like that throughout the movie and when it came near the end it was going to be good because of the boss scene but nope just weary me out again. At the end I said 'huh that it'. This is one of those movies that had potential and then you feel let down after watching it.

People that already seen it like me what was the whole idea of the baddies what was their purpose or motives and why were they showing scene after scene of rain, mud and wagons of captured prisoners. What were they going to do with the prisoners and why did they need them. Its still on my mind because it made no sense why they had to keep showing this.

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31 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

This is like Star Wars and Dark Knight set in the 17th Century....

Author: Jamesbond1974 from Canada
17 September 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film just (and I mean like 45 minutes ago), had it's North American Premier at the Toronto International Film Festival. This work was amazing. Set in 17th Century England, it had the feel of the Dark Knight, and Star Wars. Was both dark and gritty, with some laugh out loud parts as well. I was expecting something special, and that is what I got. I came in to the theatre with no information about Solomon Kane, and came out thinking, this early 20th century writer, who created this hero, was way ahead of his time. The Director/Writer (Michael J.Bassett), and the actor playing Solomon Kane (James Purefoy), this man is going to be big in North America. As it is 3:20 am, and the last film on my list, I am going to sign off. This film still has not had a distributor for North America, so some forward thinking company should pick this up. I am voting for James Purefoy to play the next villain in the up coming Batman franchise.

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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Something feels wrong

Author: wuhugm from Indonesia
28 April 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

At first it's like a slow paced adventure, a traveler join up with others traveling a beautiful world Then enemies start appearing also then people start going out of character. They said and act things that is not of their character and all of them overestimate Solomon's ability I had thought that Solomon Kane is some sorcerer or something because he kept saying "my powers" and everyone seem to think he can massacre the entire mob while those mob had them hostage.

The family kept telling Solomon to kill them all, all while still had swords touching their neck. So unreal and what was that final battle, so ridiculous

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26 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

The Cure For Insomnia

Author: chicagopoetry from United States
2 March 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm desperately trying to stay awake while watching the movie Solomon Kane. I have about a 20 minutes to go. If it gets any better, I will come back here and let you know, but somehow I doubt that will happen. Solomon Kane looks like it is based on the video game Dark Watch, and it sounds like it is based on the video game Legacy of Kane, but unfortunately neither is true. I hear it is based on some comic book or graphic novel or pulp fiction or something else that I have never heard of, but whatever it is based on, there is nothing original in this excruciatingly boring movie. The atmosphere is stolen from the movie 300, which wasn't that great in the first place. The tedious overacting takes itself so seriously that it's nearly hypnotic, and to be clear I mean that in a bad way. The plot is practically non-existent: violent guy trying to be nonviolent meets friendly family, friendly family is murdered, violent guy becomes violent again. All the characters are stereotypes taken from Waterworld or Book of Eli or The Hills Have Eyes or, whatever, just choose another apocalyptic slash fantasy slash wizardry movie that you have seen and there you have it. Someone, somewhere, said, this is how to make a movie: use a blue filter to make everything look mysterious, add plenty of slow motion shots of horse hooves splashing in murky puddles, add snowflakes hovering around while two boring characters are speaking to each other, and oh yes rain pouring down dramatically to distract from the fact that nothing is really happening, and don't forget the black silhouettes walking toward us with fire blazing behind them, and lots of torches burning, and of course blurry fight scenes during which it's not clear what is actually happening because we don't have the budget for the gory special effects so just throw in the sound of metal clanking, and, oh, by the way, don't let any character live long enough for the audience to understand them, relate to them or sympathize with them, and cross fingers, hope that fans of sword and sorcery films will eat it up, even though it is complete doo doo, and go straight to video, do not pass GO . . .

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11 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

A Dark Story of Redemption in a World Plunging into Darkness and Chaos

Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
18 February 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In a time of witchcraft and sorcery when the world was plunging into darkness and chaos, no one stood against evil.

In 1600, in North Africa, Captain Solomon Kane (James Purefoy) is a murderer and greed man that invades a coastal city seeking its hidden treasure. However, his crew is killed by demons and Solomon is trapped in a room with the Devil's Reaper. The evil Solomon learns that the reaper is ready to collect his soul as part of an unknown deal, but he succeeds in escaping from the devil.

Solomon travels to England and finds a sanctuary in a monastery. He renounces violence and gives his fortune to the Church, but after one year, the leader of the monks tells him to leave the hideout. Solomon wanders on the road of a country ruled by the evil Malachi (Jason Flemyng) and plunged into violence and chaos. Sooner three thieves steal his few possessions and beat him up, but Salomon is rescued by a puritan family that is traveling to North America.

When Solomon is healed, the patron William Crowthorn (Pete Postlethwaite) invites him to join his family in their journey. Solomon befriends the Crowthorn family, specially the boy Samuel (Patrick Hurd- Wood) and his teenage sister Meredith (Rachel Hurd-Wood).

When the Crowthorn family is slaughtered by raiders of the evil Malachi (Jason Flemyng) lead by the cruel Overlord (Sam Roukin), the demons abduct Meredith. Salomon tells that his soul will be doomed to hell but swears to William that he will rescue his daughter from Malachi. However, William promises Solomon that he will find redemption if he succeeds in his quest and bring Meredith back to her mother.

A couple of months ago I saw the trailer of "Solomon Kane" and I have been anxiously waiting for the release of this film on DVD. This dark story of redemption shows a full of action adventure, supported by a great story, screenplay and performances associated to excellent special effects and soundtrack. Surprisingly, this film is underrated in IMDb, with only 6.2 User Rating.

There are interesting interviews with James Purefoy and Max von Sydow in the Extras. This is one of the last films of the British actor Pete Postlethwaite, who has recently died.

My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Solomon Kane - O Caçador de Demônios" ("Solomon Kane – The Demons Hunter")

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Bloody battles in a sinister atmosphere and loads of predictable stereotypes

Author: kluseba from Gatineau, Canada
3 June 2012

"Solomon Kane" is your usual predictable fantasy movie filled with a whole lot of stereotypes.

Just take a look on the characters. You have the lonesome warrior and lost son that has to become a hero. You have his severe old father that has to face the demons of his past. You also have the arrogant bad brother who wants to possess everything. You have the helpless and innocent young maid that is attacked by evil forces. You have the evil double faced magician that brings destruction over those who trust him. I think you understand what I'm pointing at. The characters completely lack of depth, diversity or originality. I don't feel any connection to any of these superficial characters that are also randomly introduced.

It's the same thing for the story. The whole thing feels as if it was rather adapted from a simple computer game than from a book series. The whole thing is quite simple. An evil captain tries to isolate and forget about his bloody past in a monastery. The Church though asks him to leave and on his way across England, he faces war and pain. He wants to change and become a peaceful wanderer and luck seems to be with him when he meets a family that wants to emigrate towards the New World. He also has an eye for the beautiful, innocent and quite young daughter but the soft romance is interrupted by evil hordes of possessed warriors that slay most of the family and kidnap the charming young woman. Our hero needs to leave the peaceful way and has to fulfil the family's last wish, find the daughter and save the whole country and his very own soul at the same time. You can easily imagine the rest. Anybody who's a little bit into fantasy literature or movies could have written this kind of story in a few hours only. Right from the beginning on you have a clear idea how this movie might end and it really came exactly as I thought it would be.

The rest of this flick is filled with some occult scenes featuring demons, warriors and witches, a lot of rainy days and dark catacombs and a big bunch of bloody battles. There is a lot of action, a lot of slaying and the movie has a quite fast pace but the whole thing gets quite redundant after a while.

The camera work and the special effects are of a rather mediocre quality and would have fit to an entertaining computer game but not such an expensive production. On the other side, the movie develops a good sinister atmosphere by portraying desolate rainy landscapes, destroyed villages, dirty and ugly warriors, crying women and children and a somewhat cynical, desperate but still emotional hero.

The acting is in fact not as bad as one might think. It's not excellent as well but rather solid and might please to the main audience of this kind of film.

On the positive site I might cite the flashbacks of the main character that portray his youth and how he has become what he is. the clash between past and present is an interesting point of the film but this idea could have been developed a little bit more. I would have liked to know how Soloman Kane became a captain. A few more informations on his ideals would have been helpful to develop this character that ultimately is very basic and not as colourful as it could have been.

I must also admit that the movie has a rather good pace and never gets completely boring. At least, there are no exaggerated special effects or pseudo intellectual dialogues. The makers don't pretend to create something original and honestly focus on epic battles and a few entertaining fantasy elements. This simplicity makes this flick rather sympathetic from my point of view.

In the end, there are still enough reasons that save this movie from being completely irrelevant. It's a good watch for those who like dark and gore fantasy movies of a traditional style. Anybody who's looking for a masterpiece of the genre or even something intellectual should definitely look elsewhere.

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