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One of the weakest movies of the year thus far
TheLittleSongbird30 October 2011
I enjoyed the 1982 Conan the Barbarian, and went into this movie not expecting a film as good but one to be entertaining. Alas, this Conan the Barbarian only has the costume and set design going for it. Everything else is pretty much a disaster. The music score is not as memorable, or as epic or as haunting. The direction has inconsistencies with the tone especially all over the map. The dialogue is cliché-ridden and as much as I am starting to dislike using the term anachronistic the term applies to me here, the story is dull and sluggish and the characterisations feel little more than stock stereotypes. The acting doesn't help, Stephen Lang has good presence but has nothing to work with. The lead on the other hand has no charisma whatsoever. Overall, disappointing and weak. 2/10 Bethany Cox
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Derivative, mildly entertaining fantasy flick
Leofwine_draca15 December 2011
As a massive Robert E. Howard fan who's read most of the original Conan stories and who loves the Schwarzenegger film version, I was eager to watch this new adaptation of the famous hero. Having just done so, I feel only one thing: disappointment. Disappointment that the film was handed over to the control of director Marcus Nispel, a man who has made only a few films (THE Texas CHAINSAW MASSACRE remake and the Friday THE 13TH remake are two of them) but whose trademark is already his inability to connect with his characters. A good director will bring the performers to life, allowing them to live and breathe within a film, but in a Nispel movie they're never more than actors acting on the screen. CONAN, unfortunately, follows this trend.

Nispel isn't the only problem with this movie: the screenplay is also disappointing (the presence of three separate writers is a giveaway), a vapid exercise in cliché and formula. The producers had every option of developing one of Howard's brilliant short stories for the screen but instead come up with another bland origin story, the type of which was done better in the Schwarzenegger film anyway. To be fair, the first half isn't so bad, getting by on sheer spectacle and presence alone, but as the story progresses it begins to feel more and more artificial leading up to an anti-climatic and utterly lacklustre climax.

As Conan, Jason Momoa certainly looks the part and delivers in the action stakes, which is all that's required of him. However, some acting from the supporting cast feels forced and mannered. Rachel Nichols is shortchanged indeed: she begins as a feisty, kick-ass heroine but ends up as the requisite shrieking damsel-in-distress by the finish. Stephen Lang, enjoying a career resurgence after AVATAR (I personally remember him as a bad guy in Seagal's FIRE DOWN BELW) is pretty good as the villain, although his role is underwritten (and the whole 'magic helmet' thing turns out to be a total joke). Rose McGowan is fairly embarrassing, Ron Perlman barely seen and other favourites (like hulking wrestler Nathan Jones) hidden beneath prosthetics.

Still, it's not all bad, and often I found it mildly enjoyable, even if it was a far cry from what I'd initially hoped. The action scenes are well mounted and fluidly shot, although Conan only gets to face one slightly effective foe (the sand demons). The visuals are wonderful and the special effects for the most part grand, so at least it's a film that looks good. It's not a patch on Arnie's CONAN, though.
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Blood splattering brutality lost in a long meandering story
SnoopyStyle14 December 2013
Conan (Jason Momoa) seeks revenge on the cruel warlord who destroyed his village and killed his father.

I like the brutality and the blood splattering violence. But this suffers two major problems. The first is the length of this movie. At almost 2 hours, it is way too long. There is no reason for a 2 hour Conan movie. It feels stretched out, and too slow in many parts of the movie. Too much of the story is a meandering mess.

The second is the comparison between Jason Mamoa and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Jason is no Schwarzenegger. He has half the charm and half the presence. I still like Jason Mamoa, but he's no Arnold.

I do appreciate the attempt. They try their best with a big scale production. The stunts are good. The battles gets pretty big. Stephen Lang is a good bad guy. And Rose McGowan is great as the creepy weird Marique. If only they scale back the running time to a more manageable length. This could have been just good enough to recommend.
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Jason Momoa. and nothing more
Kirpianuscus17 July 2016
he is the only realistic motif to see this bizarre film. but a flower does not a season. the good intentions of an actor, the hope to resurrect a brand, the darkness in new nuances are not the good choice. first - the theme is part from another cinema age. then , Jason Momoa does his the best.the presence of Stephen Lang and Ron Pearlman is symbolic. maybe, to act in a film who could be reduced at few fight scene, eccentric costumes and a lot of clichés is not a good option. except colors and remind of old fairy tales theme, Conan has nothing interesting.because the script is a joke and the respect for poor Momoa is high scene by scene because except his physical virtues, far being by a new version of Schwarzenegger, he tries to do a decent work. but nothing helps him. so, a film for a too precise target . for the others, convincing invitation to return to the original Conan.
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Entertaining Adventure
claudio_carvalho14 July 2013
Many years ago, sorcerers crafted the Mask of Acheron and dark forces of Acheron conquered the world. However, the barbarians vanquished Acheron warriors and broke the Mask into pieces and divided among the tribes.

The barbarian Cimmerian village of chief Corin (Ron Perlman) is attacked by the evil warlord Khalar Zym (Stephen Lang) that wants the last piece of bone of the Mask of Acheron to resurrect his wife. When his witch daughter Marique (Rose McGowan) finds the hidden piece, he slaughters the villagers and the Corin's son Conan is the only survivor. Conan swears revenge against Khalar Zym.

Years later, the warrior Conan (Jason Momoa) is a pirate and he decides to release slaves from a field. When he is celebrating in a tavern with his friends, he sees a thief being chased by a guard and Conan recognizes him as Lucius (Steven O'Donnell), the Khalar Zym's soldier that he cut the nose out. Conan let the guards capture him and once in the prison, he forces Lucius to tell him where Khalar Zym is. Meanwhile Khalar Zym attacks a monastery where Marique believes that a pure-blood descent of Acheron lives. But the monk sent the descent Tamara (Rachel Nichols) back to her homeland. She is chased by Khalar Zym's soldiers, but Conan saves her. Now Conan intends to use Tamara to reach the evil Khalar Zym. Will he succeed in his intent?

"Conan the Barbarian" is an entertaining adventure, full of action, fantasy and special effects. I was reluctant to see this movie, since I do not like remakes, but this 2011 movie is totally different from the 1982 Conan the Barbarian with Arnold Schwarzenegger. The good story of revenge has a great cast, and Rachel Nichols is one of the most beautiful contemporary actresses. I had low expectations with "Conan the Barbarian" and I had a favorable surprise, maybe because I am fan of this genre. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Conan, o Bárbaro" ("Conan, the Barbarian")
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Hollow and shallow
Prismark1012 August 2015
The Conan the Barbarian remake is a sometimes flashy, competent but dull reboot of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movies which truth be told was not too special in the first place.

It starts off with narration by Morgan Freeman with some cod The Lord of the Rings style mythology, that Conan being born of war in the battlefield and soaked in blood as a child.

When he was a kid, Conan's father is killed by a vicious warlord Khalar Zym (Stephen Lang) who with his Gothic witch daughter Marique (Rose McGowan) is trying to find lost pieces of a mythical mask that enables him to become a god. With the complete mask in his possession to fulfil his prophecy he must have the pure blood descendant of an ancient sorceress to unleash the power of the mask.

Jason Momoa has few words in this would be sword and sorcery epic that heavily steals from other films. It is rather clichéd stuff. Conan comes across as a bland guy and not much of a barbarian. The script is uninspired, the direction is anaemic, it looks nice on screen but everyone and everything is two dimensional without any vim and vigour.
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nogodnomasters22 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I love Conan/ Middle Earth type of movies, although for some reason the original Conan lacked appeal to me, perhaps because it looked like Arnold wore a wig the whole time. In this film we get a significant childhood view of Conan as a person who has more heart than brains. After his village is destroyed and his father killed, Conan wanders the earth to find the man and seek revenge.

He comes to a town involved in slave trade, kills the traders and frees the topless women in a cage. Later soldiers show up and Conan deliberately gets himself arrested so he can get inside of the prison camp to get information. Of course armed guards are no match for a chained Conan.

Conan is a barbarian, a Viking type. Another tribe appears to mimic Native Americans with Mohawks and another of the 12 tribes mimics Mongolian. The problem with Conan, the Barbarian is that he speaks as a barbarian with bad lines and a bad delivery. The CG specials effects make this a better film. There is a good supporting cast, however Conan himself was just written poorly. For most people this should just be a rental.

No f-bombs, nudity, one poorly lit sex scene.
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kosmasp5 March 2012
There is many reasons why you shouldn't like this movie. It's dialogue, the acting and the story as it is. But while all those things appear very mindless and barbaric, this might also be something might somehow appeal to you. I thought it was so senseless that it kinda was fun to watch in a strange way.

Of course Momoa will not delete Schwarzenegger from our memory and the latter will be remembered as the ultimate Conan yet. But while I have no idea how the Comic Conan is, I can tell you that you are better off, finding something to cling on in this, then just wince your way through it. Plus you have to give them kudos for going R-rated from the get-go (could you imagine a PG-13 Conan? Exactly!). So while not really good, it kinda can be fun
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Conan the Barbarian
jboothmillard16 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The original 1982 version, with Arnold Schwarzenegger (before becoming a superstar in The Terminator), is a cult classic, although I personally don't think it's very good, or its sequel Conan the Destroyer, so I didn't think a remake would be any better, directed by Marcus Nispel (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), Friday the 13th (2009)). Basically warlord Khalar Zym (Don't Breathe's Stephen Lang) wishes to reunite the pieces of the Mask of Acheron, crafted by a group of sorcerers and used to subjugate the world, to revive his dead wife and conquer Hyboria, the pieces were scattered among the barbarian tribes. Young Conan (Leo Howard) is the son of Corin (Ron Perlman), chief of a barbarian tribe, he is skilled, but his father believes he is not ready to wield his own sword, the entire village are murdered by the forces of Zym, after Corin's piece of the mask is located, Conan and Corin are chained and trapped under a vat of molten metal, but Corin sacrifices himself to allow Conan to escape, Conan is the only survivor of the attack and vows revenge. Years later, the warrior Conan (Game of Thrones' Jason Momoa) is a pirate, he finds a slavery colony, the slaves are freed when his tribe kill the handlers. While celebrating in a tavern in the city of Messantia, Conan recognises Lucius (Steven O'Donnell), one of Zym's soldiers from years before, he cut off his nose when he was younger, Conan forces Lucius to tell him where Khalar Zym is. Meanwhile Khalar Zym attacks a monastery the sorceress Marique (Scream's Rose McGowan) believes that a pure-blood descent of Acheron lives, but elderly monk Fassir (Raad Rawi) warned Tamara (Rachel Nichols), of a bloodline of Acheronian necromancers, to run away and return to her homeland. Tamara is chased by Khalar Zym's soldiers, but Conan saves her, he realises that using Tamar may be the only way to reach the evil Khalar Zym, but also to save the great nations of Hyboria from an encroaching reign of supernatural evil. Also starring Saïd Taghmaoui as Ela-Shan, Bob Sapp as Ukafa and Milton Welsh as Remo, with narration from Morgan Freeman. Momoa is no substitute for Schwarzenneger, Lang and McGowan are fairly good villains, and Perlman does steal the show in the short time he is on for, this version may have more advanced special effects that look fantastic, and slightly more gore and aggressive fights, but it doesn't have any humour or charm, it is definitely more style over substance, a very average and barely memorable sword-and-sorcery fantasy adventure. Adequate!
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Violent adventure epic about the brutal warrior set in Hyborian Age and facing off nasty enemies
ma-cortes2 December 2014
This new though inferior ¨Conan¨ by Marcus Nispel was well starred by Jason Momoa, Rose McGowan , Rachel Nichols and Ron Perlman . This recent adaptation is an exciting picture with plenty of action, thrills, chills, roller-coaster ride , violence and breathtaking fights. Overwhelming sword-and-witchery epic in one of the first and main roles for Jason Momoa , ulteriorly to Baywatch and Game of thrones . Sword-and-sorcery epic with incredible adventures , spectacular battles and strong scenes . This is an epic adventure set in Hyborian Age based on Robert E. Howard's pulp tales with screenplay by Thomas Dean Donnelly , Joshua Oppenheimer and Sean Hood , based on the characters created by Robert E Howard . It stars Jason Momoa in the title role, as the Hyborian Age hero fighting against ominous and heinous nasties . A vengeful barbarian warrior called Conan (Kellan Lutz and Jared Padalecki were considered for the lead, but the role went to Jason Momoa and Chris Hemsworth was also considered for the character) sets off to get his revenge on the evil warlord who attacked his village and murdered his father when he was a boy . As Conan seeks vengeance when being kid he saw as his daddy (Dolph Lundgren, then Mickey Rourke were in talks to play Corin, Conan's father, but Rourke turned it down to do Immortals (2011) before Ron Perlman was cast) was burnt by a cruel warrior (Stephen Lang), and his daughter (Rose McGowan) subsequently his village was slaughtered and he enslaved . Many years later , Conan undertakes a perilous travel with the help his sidekicks Artus (Nonso Anozie) and Ela-Shan (Said Taghmaoui) , all of them are assigned to free a young virginal priestess (Rachel Nichols who had a body double for her sex scene) from the claws a brutal enemy and his satanic witch . They undergo on a risked trip to find the priestess , contending the cult leader and his giant hoodlums and leading a vibrant ending.

This violent sword-and-witchery story packs noisy action , blood-thirsty battles at every turn , full-blooded adventure, thrills , crude scenes and rip-roaring fights . The picture is unbelievably brutal and sexist though also displays some love scenes and raunchy images . The scenes about the ship traveling throughout landscapes bear remarkable resemblance to ¨The man on a wilderness¨ by Richard C Sarafian , this ship "Hornet" is a fairly accurate replica of a 17-18th Century Chinese junk, especially with its three square sails . The savage warriors with horned helmets deliver the goods , their appearance is spectacular and creepy, including the majestic horses doing pirouettes. The evil barbarians are characterized in similar style to the classic 'Conan' by John Milius, as when at the beginning appeared James Earl Jones in some unforgettable scenes . Jason Momoa hired after playing his savage role in ¨Game of thrones¨ , enrolled in an intense six-week training program at a stunt and martial arts academy in Los Angeles for his part, while still finalizing negotiations for the film . Made on a grand scale , with spectacular production design , adding computer generator backgrounds and colorful cinematography by Thomas Kloss , mostly filmed in Bulgaria and Malta . The sombre photography with a sort of never-ending dawn and dusk time is truly awesome . It's a kind of light mingled in a moody and foggy atmosphere. Big budget and lavishly produced by the great producers Avi Lerner , Danny Lerner , Les Weldon ,Trevor Short and Boaz Davidson from Milennium . Impressive and groundbreaking musical score composed and conducted by Tyler Bates , in Basil Poledouris style . Conan fans will be delighted with this breathtaking and bloody epic . Acceptable and gripping realization by Marcus Nispel but with no originality ; Brett Ratner was originally attached to direct before being replaced by Marcus Nispel . He's a video hits director and expert on terror genre such as he proved ¨Friday the 13th¨, ¨Frankestein¨ , ¨Texas chainsaw massacre¨ but none of his movies have been based on original plot.

The original Conan , of course , was much better, it was directed by John Milius and starred by Arnold Schwarzenegger , Max Von Sidow , Gerry Lopez , Jorge Sanz , Sandahl Bergman , Nadiuska and James Earl Jones . Followed by a sequel titled ¨Conan the destroyer¨ with Wilt Chamberlain , Grace Jones , Sarah Douglas and Olivia D'Abo that contains some dumb images and is unintentionally hilarious but amusing ; furthermore several low-grade imitations and rip offs, and spawned TV series starred by Ralph Moller. Plus a similar film realized in old-fashioned and lightweight style also directed by Richard Fleischer titled ¨Red Sonja¨ with Brigette Nielsen as female lead , Sandahl Bergman and of course Arnold Schwarzenegger has a brief guest spot.
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Arnold's Conan looks like he could use Momoa's barbarian to pick his teeth clean.
BA_Harrison6 March 2015
Created by the sorcerers of Acheron during the Hyborean Age, the Mask of Acheron has the power to summon evil forces. During a battle between the sorcerers and the Cimmerians, the mask is shattered into shards and divided between the barbarian tribes (instead of being crushed into fine powder and scattered to the four winds, as would be the sensible thing to do).

Years later, evil warlord Khalar Zym (Stephen Lang) attacks the tribes, collecting all of the shards and killing young Conan's father (Ron Perlman) in the process. Twenty years pass, and Khalar Zym is still searching for a pure-blood descendant of the sorcerers of Acheron to unlock the mask's power (give Khalar Zym his due, he's determined: most people would have given up by now). Meanwhile, Conan, all grown up (and played by Jason Momoa), goes in search of Zym looking for revenge.

At 6' 5", Jason Momoa is actually several inches taller than Arnold Schwarzenegger, who played Conan in the 1982 movie directed by John Milius—but you wouldn't know it by looking at him in this new adaptation of Robert E. Howard's sword and sorcery novels: he might be a big fellow, but Momoa lacks Arnold's amazing steroid-enhanced bodybuilding physique, making his Conan much less impressive by comparison.

But the titular character's leaner look ain't the only problem with this reboot/re-imagination/remake/regurgitation of Robert E. Howard's legendary sword swinger: star Momoa lacks Arnold's charisma as well as his muscles, the plot is a turgid mess of fantasy clichés, the film relies heavily on mindless CGI set-pieces, Stephen Lang's villain isn't a patch on James Earl Jones's Thulsa Doom, and Marcus Nispel's handling of the action is utterly banal, the director having not improved one iota in this department since his utterly painful Pathfinder (2007).

On a slightly more positive note, the production design is impressive, some scenes looking like they're straight out of a Frank Frazetta painting, the brutality is unflinching, with every sword hit resulting in a splash of bright red gore, and Rachel Nichols, as pure-blood Tamara, is very easy on the eye.
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Finally a remake that is worth watching...
paul_haakonsen6 November 2011
Initially I had some reservations about watching this movie, because of the legendary older Conan movies with Arnold Schwarzenegger. That and the fact that remakes usually end up being insulting to the original versions. But it lack of better to do, I sat down and watched this 2011 "Conan the Barbarian" movie.

One word can actually summarize the entire experience: wow! Now, true enough as other reviewers have staked out, the movie is not heavy on storyline. Actually the story is a tad shallow and lacking that extra spice to make it unique. But what the movie lacks in story, it more than makes up for in action, battle scenes and lavish scenery. The movie was really a treat for the eye. Not "Sucker Punch" eye-candy, but still a very nice visual treat.

I especially liked the scenery throughout the movie and the sets. There were so many nice details to the scenery and stages, and it really helped to flesh out the world and make it come alive and make it believable. However, it did seem like the movie makers were on a hype to try to put as many different sceneries and settings into the movie, because it jumped around a lot. Sure, you got to see a lot of different (and marvelous) places, but it was a bit too much, because it sort of made the story seem too jumpy.

And speaking of details, then the armors, costumes and weaponry were so nicely detailed as well. That really helped the movie have that fantasy-world look, and it was great to see.

Jason Momoa (playing Conan) really did a great job, and he sure had some big shoes to fill out, taking on Schwarzenegger's old character. Both actually did it great in each their own way. Momoa, however, was easier to relate to, as there was no heavy Austrian accent overshadowing the dialogue. Leo Howard (playing young Conan) was also quite good, and he really did a tremendous job at fleshing out Conan as a boy. Thumbs up for that one. Now, I am not a big fan of Rose McGowan (playing Marique), but she really knocked the nail right on the head with her wicked role in "Conan the Barbarian".

"Conan the Barbarian" is a testosterone-filled action adventure, that skips lightly over the storyline. So don't except a major thinker of this movie, it is just lean back in the seat and enjoy the action.

Comparing this movie to the "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" TV series, then they have equal production value. But "Conan the Barbarian" is not impeded by excessive use of foul language and language that isn't even appropriate to the set era in which it is supposed to be set. "Spartacus" had potential, but the language made it come tumbling down fast and hard. You won't see that in "Conan the Barbarian" - just a friendly heads up.

I am glad that I did give this movie a chance, because it totally blew me away. It is definitely a worthy addition to the movie collection, especially if you are a fan of the fantasy genre. And it is definitely one of the better fantasy genre productions to come out of 2011.
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A giant ehhhhhh
BandSAboutMovies30 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Before Aquaman, Jason Momoa was almost another franchise star with this 2011 reimagining of Conan. Directed by Marcus Naspiel (who was also behind the remakes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th) and narrated by Morgan Freeman, it failed at the box office and had mostly negative reviews. That's never stopped us from loving a movie before, so let's check it out.

Conan is the son of Corin (Ron Perlman!), who is the chief of the Cimmerians and also a tough dad who doesn't think his son is ready to hold a sword, despite him beheading several enemies. There's also this Mask of Acheron that needs put back together, something that big bad Khaler Zym needs to bring his wife back to life. His troops attack Corin's people, killing everyone but Conan.

Fast forward to Conan's days as a pirate, where he meets Ela-Shan , a thief and together they embark on a journey to destroy Zym. Conan disfigured Lucius, one of the guards, as a child and goes further now. They learn that Zym seeks Tamara, a descendant of the sorcerers of Acheron, whose death will unleash the mask.

Bob Sapp, who was a major pro wrestling, MMA and pop culture star in Japan plays Ukafa, the leader of Zym's soldiers.

Zym and his daughter, Marique (an unrecognizable Rose McGowan who spent six hours a day in makeup for the role) attack a monastery, but Tamara runs away and is saved by Conan. For the rest of the film, Conan fights off many attempts on her life before saving her and recovering the sword that was taken from his father.

This was also made before Momoa became a big star on Game of Thrones. Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke and Arnold Schwarzenegger were all asked to play Conan's father, yet refused.

This film felt like a video game cut scene for nearly two hours to me. It's glossy and filled with CGI, with a huge budget compared to any Conan film that ever came before. Yet it just didn't have the feel that I was looking for. Perhaps you'll feel differently.
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Opening Act is the Best...Then Closes Poorly
LeonLouisRicci11 August 2013
Is this Movie as bad as you've heard? Probably. But that depends. If you are an Adolescent Male that pulled Himself away from the XBox to watch this you might differ. After all, there is a goodly amount of bloodshed, in fact a lot of bloodshed. There are some bare Female Breasts, some, but probably not enough for the Fanboys.

Anyway, it is troublesome when the Star of the Film is out Acted by his Juvenile counterpart in the opening Flashback. In fact, it is the first Act of the Movie that is the best. It is the most Dramatic and the most intriguing. But when Conan grows up things are definitely not more Mature. They are just more digitally enhanced.

Things really do fall apart from that part on. There are numerous, meant to be exciting and pseudo-realistic, battle scenes with lots of lost limbs and loss of blood painting the Screen. But this type of thing has become so saturated in our Culture that it barely stimulates any adrenaline.

The ending is so busy and the Screen is so filled with chaos that it is nothing more than confusing, irritating, and incomprehensible. That could also describe some of the Performances and miscasting, the most obvious is the Teenage Witch, looking like a reject from the Casting Call of "Charmed" playing dress up. The "Actor" playing Conan is not far behind. Butt, there is a quick shot of His bare Behind.
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Leave well alone - please!
CinemaSerf9 December 2020
Sorry but this is awful... Why in the name of all that is holy do producers never look at an original film and think: this ain't broke, leave it alone...? Jason Momoa has neither the charm nor the charisma to carry of the part in this shoddily written/directed and acted rehash of Arnie's earlier performance from 1982. It has little, if any, sense of peril or menace and whereas the first film builds and gathers momentum after the tragic beginning in which the village is ransacked and "Conan" taken captive; this one relies entirely on, admittedly decent, CGI and leaves us with a character-free fantasy action movie that is a dry as a bone.
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Behold... and despair
utgard1416 January 2014
Whether this is a remake or not is debatable. Obviously the original film is paramount in most people's minds when they think of the character Conan. But the character comes from Robert E. Howard's popular pulp stories, as well as the later Marvel comic books. Since this film does not directly redo the original's plot I will say that it's less a remake than another adaptation of the source material. That being said, it has little in it taken from Howard's stories.

The cast is terrible. Jason Momoa smirks his way through the film and lacks any charm or screen presence. He can't seem to stop contorting his face into as many different grimaces as possible to let you know how tough his Conan is. At no time did I feel he was as imposing a figure as Arnold Schwarzenegger was in the original film. I wanted to slam the actor playing young Conan in the early part of the movie because of his terrible "look at me I'm so tough" face. But since Momoa continues that expression, I will assume both were directed to do so and cut them a modicum of slack.

Rachel Nichols is weak and seems like she's in a different movie set in a different era. Rose McGowan hams it up but there's no fun in it. Ron Perlman collects a paycheck. This is an actor who seems to have exceeded his Bruce Campbell "I have a cult following so I can appear in as much crap as I want and my fans will eat it up" quota. Ten years ago it was a popular thing to praise Perlman because he was fairly unappreciated in the mainstream. For me, at least, it no longer matters when I see his name attached to a movie. He's been in far too much crap. The extremely overrated Stephen Lang continues to prove he's no better than the average actor on network television. How this guy has developed the following he has is beyond me. He's not a terrible actor, just not a great one either.

Director Marcus Nispel is one of the worst directors working in mainstream Hollywood in the last ten years. I would place him just behind Uwe Boll and John Moore. Nispel comes from a music video background and, like most directors who started that way, he seems to have no appreciation for filmmaking beyond computer effects and trying to make his heroes look pretty and his villains look outlandish. Nispel creates a very banal movie. There's nothing in it that is memorable or effective. Sadly, for a director so obsessed with the visual, the movie looks wholly unoriginal and unimpressive. The 1982 film had a distinct look and was a trendsetter for the sword & sorcery boom of the '80s. Visually, this movie has more in common with The Scorpion King than Conan the Barbarian (1982). Ultimately this is a piece of crap. Don't waste your time with it.
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An Above-Average Remake of "Conan the Barbarian"
zardoz-1323 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
The savage sword & sorcery saga "Conan the Barbarian" ranks as an above-average but bloodthirsty adventure fantasy with impressive CGI effects and despicable villains. Hawaiian hunk Jason Momoa of "Baywatch" takes over the role that Arnold Schwarzenegger immortalized in 1982's "Conan the Barbarian" and then reprised for the lackluster 1984 "Conan the Destroyer." Repeated efforts to produce another "Conan" epic afterward suffered one setback after another until director Marcus Nispel arrived on the scene. Clearly, Lionsgate Studio hopes the barbarian franchise will yield as many sequels as its "Saw" franchise. Indeed, Nispel qualifies as a specialist in revitalizing moribund franchises. He helmed the respective reboots of both slasher movie franchises "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Friday the 13th." Nispel and "Dylan Dog: Dead of Night" scenarists Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer, along with "Cube²: Hypercube" scribe Sean Hood have rewritten the action so it barely resembles director John Milius' classic. Momoa plays Conan as a cynical but straightforward soldier-of-fortune. He is pugnacious to the hilt. The chief difference between the two "Conan" heroes lies in their behavior before the death of their fathers. As an adolescent in the Schwarzenegger film, young Conan behaved like an innocent little lad without a malicious bone in his body. Conversely, the youthful Conan in the reboot is portrayed as hellion who wields a sword with murderous aplomb, slaying all cruel opponents and taking their heads without a qualm. Nothing about the Momoa "Conan" is coy compared with Schwarzenegger's "Conan." Moreover, the new Conan is neither taken into captivity for long nor crucified like the Schwarzenegger hero who died and came back to life through sorcery. Nispel and his writers shun humor as they plunge their brawny Cimmerian champion into a number of cliffhanger adventures. "Hellboy's" Ron Perlman makes a memorable impression as Conan's dad Corin. Meanwhile, "Avatar's" Stephen Lang as the loathsome Khalar Zym and "Planet Terror's" Rose McGowan as his kinky daughter Marique challenge Conan at every turn and emerge as two villains that you will love to hate.

"Conan" opens on the battlefield with a bang. Conan's pregnant mom is caught up in the thick of combat when she suffers a mortal blow. Crying out for her husband Corin (Ron Perlman), she insists she must see her son before she dies. Corin performs a Caesarian section on her and shows her baby Conan moments before she dies. Corin trains his son from the cradle to be a warrior. He forges a special sword for him. Little Conan (Leo Howard of "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra") does his chores around the house, but he yearns to fight with the big guys. One day, little Conan gets his chance during an initiation ritual that requires him to carry a bird's egg in his mouth while negotiating an obstacle course in the wilderness. Conan and his competitors encounter an advance force of marauders. The others spit out their eggs and flee in fear. Little Conan confronts the invaders and slaughters them without cracking his egg. Corin is impressed with his son's pugnacity but he doesn't get to live long because the evil Khalar Zym and his army descend upon their village like bloodthirsty locusts. Zym has been on a scavenger hunt to recover the fragments of a magical mask. Once he acquires all of the pieces, Zym will become a god and he will be able to revive his wife who was burned at the stake for her sorcery. At Zym's side lurks his equally malevolent daughter Marique. She sports a spiked Freddie Kruger glove and can read the minds of her victims. After she finds a piece of the mask hidden in Conan's village, Marique and her father kill Corin, wipe out everybody but little Conan, and resume their march.

Eventually, after Conan grows up, he stumbles onto one of Zym's lieutenants. The man is easy for Conan to recognize because Conan sliced off his nose with a saber during a short-lived fight. Zym admired little Conan's ferocity so much that he refused to let his lieutenant kill the lad. Twenty years has passed and the impatient Zym, his daughter, and their mutant army are still on the prowl for a descendant of a pure-blood race, a female monk named Tamara (Rachel Nichols of "Star Trek"), who they must sacrifice in a complicated ritual which will restore Zym's wife to life. Conan and his cohorts beat Zym to the prize and Tamara falls in love with Conan. Nevertheless, Zym and his daughter manage to abduct her and Conan pursues them with a bloodlust.

"Conan" teems with allusions to other fantasies. The most imaginative occurs when Marique conjures up warriors from sand. They dissolve into granules whenever Conan's sword slashes through them. Nevertheless, these gritty adversaries go after Conan with a vengeance. These sand warriors are reminiscent of "Jason and the Argonauts" (1963) where warriors sprang from teeth planted in the earth. Incredibly enough, Nispel relies on supernatural elements only during the second half when our hero encounters an octopus-like monster beneath Zym's kingdom. Conan spends 112 minutes on his eternal quest to wreck vengeance on the wicked dastards that killed his father and devastated his village. Comparatively, the 1982 "Conan" lumbered along for a leisurely two hours plus and featured a naïve hero who became more sophisticated after he embarked on his journey of hardship to find his father's killers. The Nispel "Conan" remake depicts our hero as an amoral warrior. Momoa informs the beautiful heroine that he craves three things: to live, to love, and to slay. As Conan, Momoa is far more sadomasochistic than Schwarzenegger. Hardcore old school "Conan" fans may not appreciate the liberties that Nispel and company have taken with author Robert E. Howard's creation. Of course, Momoa doesn't overshadow the legendary Schwarzenegger, but the "Baywatch" star brings his own brand of charisma to the role. Squeamish audiences may not be able to handle the surfeit of blood, gore and more in this "Conan" remake.
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Not great, but not terrible either
grantss22 December 2018
Not anything like the original, and not as good (not that the original Conan was brilliant, though). Has more of a plot than I expected, but still not at all compelling, or watertight. Direction is mostly paint-by-numbers, but at least things don't get bogged down - moves along okay.

Jason Momoa is really only there for the fight scenes. It is the supporting cast who put in the best performances. Rose McGowan, hardly recognisable as Marique, puts in a great performance and Stephen Lang is solid. Decent enough displays from Ron Perlman and Rachel Nichols.
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Better-than-expected and brutally violent bloodletting origin story of the pulp fiction/Marvel Comics' warrior hero
george.schmidt23 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
CONAN THE BARBARIAN (2011) *** Jason Momoa, Stephen Lang, Rachel Nichols, Ron Perlman, Rose McGowan, Leo Howard. Better-than-expected and brutally violent bloodletting origin story of the pulp fiction/Marvel Comics' warrior hero cum remake with Momoa fitting into Ah-nold's sandals nicely as the beefcake barbarian out to vanquish the murderer of his father (respectively Lang having a field day & Perlman at his burliest) and saving a virginal princess (the lush Nichols) in the process . Director Marcus Nispel gets all the graphic but none of the novel thanks to the flat-footed screenplay by Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer and Sean Hood. But the film's saving grace (and no, not the hit-miss 3-D) is McGowan as Lang's sexily evil witchy offspring with her delish Lady Ga-Ga homage if you will; bewitching indeed
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Boobs do not a winner make
neil-47626 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
There was a lengthy, and promising, opening sequence telling of young Conan's birth, winning his spurs, and then the defining event in turning him into the nomadic warrior we are used to. This section was good. Then, early in the adult Conan's activities, we meet a large group of attractive bare-breasted cuties, at which point I thought "Hello, this movie looks distinctly promising." Unfortunately, they put in no further appearances. Instead, what happens is that Conan does some fighting. Then he fights some more. After that, he fights again. And then he does some fighting. I have never seen a film with so much fighting in it. Unfortunately, this takes the place of little things like character development.

I think this film is so keen to lay out its credentials as a fresh, and adult, take on Conan after the Schwarzenegger era than it makes it clear early on that there will be gory violence and sex, and then forgets that a movie needs a bit more than that. The story is adequate but, if stripped of the fighting, would probably take about 10 minutes to tell.

It looks good, if dark (as is the current fashion), Jason Momoa looks the part (it's a bit difficult to tell if he can act it as he isn't given much opportunity to do anything except fight), and Stephen Lang overdoes the sneering. Rose Magown looks weird without eyebrows. The 3D was, to use a technical term, "meh."
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Barbaric Trash.
anaconda-406581 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Conan the Barbarian (2011): Dir: Marcus Nispel / Cast: Jason Momoa, Stephen Lang, Rachel Nichols, Rose McGowan, Ron Perlman: After taking the Friday the 13th franchise down the toilet director Marcus Nispel goes to great extremes to tarnish the Conan legacy. The much better original version starring Arnold Schwarzenegger always focused on the character's lifestyle generating from where he came from. It didn't include scene where Conan as a teenager carried an egg in his mouth and ran some stupid obstacle course to see whether he was fit to be a barbarian. As in the original film, Conan witnesses the destruction of his village and the death of his father. Then Nispel propels him into the future where he has companions of no background. In fact, it seems all Nispel is interested in is having battle scenes every two minutes. Jason Momoa is no Schwarzenegger and his portrayal of Conan is pale by comparison. Stephen Lang plays the villain who slain his village and seeks to resurrect his sorcerer of a wife using some sort of mask. He will eventually get his ass kicked. Rachel Nichols is an embarrassment as a true blood for which Lang seeks in order to complete his task. Her dumbest moment arrives when she follows Conan ashore after a massive battle and engages in sex. Then she leaves early in the morning only to get lost and eventually captured. Rose McGowan plays Lang's feisty witch daughter who can taste true blood. Ron Perlman makes a wasted appearance as Conan's father who dies in battle. This version is so ridiculous that it should be severed with a sword. Score: 2 / 10
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The barBORErian.. look what I did there!!
FlashCallahan11 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
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, Conan realises he is the only hope of saving the great nations of Hyboria from an encroaching reign of supernatural evil....

I never liked the original Conan, I thought it was boring, and plodded along at an unearthly slow pace. The sequel was fun though, and I like other sword and sorcery movies from that era.

The trailer looked okay, and I am sort of a closet fan of Nispel (the Uwe Boll of remakes) so I thought this would be trashy fun.

It's really not. Gus Van Sants Gerry was more exciting than this, as this is just plain stupid, and very, very boring indeed.

Momoa doesn't have any of the charisma Schwarzenegger had, and Stephen Lang is just doing his bad guy schtick he did in The Hard Way.

The rest of the cast are just as bad. McGowan should have hammed it up a little more, but no, she goes for the hissy villain, who just spends the majority of the film licking virgins and pointing her claws at the screen, for the 3D effect.

narration consists of walking, fighting, walking, threats, fighting, more fighitng.

It's truly up there as one of the most unnecessary remakes ever, and this is coming from someone who enjoyed the remake of Fright Night.

A real dog of a film.
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Way too violent and a weak script - waste of an OK cast
phd_travel17 February 2012
This movie was a waste of a big budget and an alright cast. Jason Momoa actually looks quite the part and his demeanour is quite good. Rachel Nichols is quite pretty. However the story is so lacking in adventure, romance wit or thrill nothing can save it. You don't feel for any of the characters. The excessive graphic violence from beginning to end just overwhelms this movie. I know they were aiming to make something darker and less family oriented than Scorpion King etc but they went overboard here. There are just too many slashings and dismemberings. Don't bother with this one - it's terrible from start to finish. The original with Arnold was better.
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Looks great, nice action, but needed more depth
Wuchakk2 September 2011
Although the set-up of "Conan the Barbarian" (2011) is the same as the 1982 version (raiders destroy Conan's village in Cimmeria and thus the barbarian seeks revenge) the story is otherwise completely different. The villains here are Khalar Zym and his witchy daughter, Marique, who seek to resurrect Zym's sorcerous wife, but they need to acquire the pure blood necessary for their Acheron magic.


  • Jason Momoa, as Conan, is excellent; far better than Arnie. It's hard to conceive of a better Conan.

  • The Bulgarian locations are outstanding.

  • The Costuming is more convincing than the '82 version. Conan's apparel, for instance, is more faithful to REH than Arnie's fur loincloth.

  • Better acting than the '82 version, excluding James Earl Jones, of course.

  • Brutal, thrilling action throughout with convincing swordplay (unlike the contrived '82 version).

  • Corsairs, highlighted by Conan's comrade Artus, effectively played by likable Nonso Anozie.

  • Excellent sets/props; it definitely looks like the Hyborian Age.

  • Good serious vibe, despite the cartoony, over-the-top last act.

  • Rose McGowan as the witchy daughter is ee-vil and creepy.

  • Ron Perlman as Conan's father.

  • The whole opening sequence.

  • I liked how the film stressed the closeness and love of Conan and his father. There's a correlation between true greatness and a close relationship with a strong father-figure and his example of excellence.

  • You have to give credit to the filmmakers for effectively illustrating Conan's youthful days and life in a Cimmerian village in general, something Conan's creator never delved into in any detail.


  • The film deviates from Robert E. Howard, albeit not as much as the '82 version. Regardless, it certainly adhered to REH's overall pulp vibe. I'd prefer to see one of REH's originals put to film, like "A Witch Shall Be Born" or "Beyond the Black River."

  • Stephan Lang as Zym makes a worthy enough villain for Conan, but he comes off too clichéd and cartoony, especially in the final act. James Earl Jones' Thulsa Doom worked better, likely because he was so unique.

  • Rachel Nichols' Tamara is solid as the female protagonist, but she doesn't hold a candle to Sandahl Bergman's Valeria.

  • The score is serviceable but pales in comparison with Basil Poledouris' score from the '82 version and "Conan The Destroyer" (1984). This score definitely won't be celebrated 30 years later like Basil's. Why didn't they just update Polerdouris' piece?

  • There's too much "Modern Blockbuster Syndrome" that appeals to those with ADHD.

  • Especially the over-the-top final act, which is way too comic booky. It's cartoony overkill, pure and simple. But, then again, it did bring to mind REH's "Jewels of Gwahlur," so maybe it's not so far off the mark.

  • The biggest flaw was that there wasn't enough depth. The film needed more 'downtime' to contrast the wall-to-wall action, like campfire scenes (which would better indicate distances), more camaraderie on the ship, more development of Conan & Tamara's relationship, etc. Although it had some of this, it wasn't enough. Action sequences naturally hold more weight when the audience cares about the characters. As it is, it's clear that the filmmakers wanted to make an action flick above all else and this weakens the film.

  • Along with lack of depth was the lack of epic-ness or moving moments. The '82 film deviated from REH but at least it made up for it with depth and a sense of epic-ness. For instance, when Conan & Subotai make their stand against the riders of doom or Conan's moving victory salute, not to mention the potent love & death/funeral scenes, etc. This 2011 version had glimpses of this, like when Conan is birthed on the battlefield then raised to the sky and when Conan's father expresses his love with his final act, but, again, it needed more.

CONCLUSION: The filmmakers got a lot of things right, like Momoa as Conan and the authentic look/feel of the Hyborian Age. The film's not bad at all and pulsates with energy, but it needed more depth, epic-ness and uniqueness to pull it out of its "blockbuster" mediocrity. It's a case of violence for the sake of violence, which gets dull by the 90-minute mark, plus the last act is just comic booky overload. The focus on wall-to-wall action limits the film's effectiveness. It lacks the confidence to chill and allow the characters to breathe. Still, it's a somewhat worthy Conan movie. It's serious and brutal; and, thankfully, lacks "cute" characters. It's arguably on par with "Conan the Destroyer" and superior in ways, not to mention leagues better than "Red Sonja" (1985) and "Kull the Conqueror."

The film runs 1 hour, 53 minutes.

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zetes11 December 2011
A giant turd. Maybe it's that this genre of movies has just become too generic at this point, I don't know. They seem to do everything wrong here. First and foremost, the guy who plays Conan, Jason Momoa, is just a cheap pair of man tits. He's so freaking dull and has absolutely zero charisma. No surprise that he got his start as a lifeguard on Baywatch. The screen writing is pretty awful, too, of course. They make Momoa so much nicer than Arnold's Conan. Basically, Conan here is a dashing hero. While not a direct remake of the 1982 film, this one does contain the element of Conan trying to avenge his father (well played by Ron Perlman in the far-too-long prologue) and his people, but Momoa is so polite about it. You'd never catch him coldcocking a camel. Stephen Lang, one of Hollywood's go-to villains after the awful Avatar, is terrible as the villain, too. About the only person having any fun here, besides Perlman (who gets to wear an awesome beard), is Rose McGowan, who plays Lang's witchy daughter who is always wearing these cool, metal finger daggers. The film does look decent, with nice costumes and set decorations. I like the score, as much as it pales in comparison with Basil Poledouris' from the original. The special effects aren't bad, either, but it's CGI, of course, and we've seen all that before. But, man, overall this is a huge bore.
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