Monday, 22 January 2018
Conan the Barbarian
Tuesday, 23 August 2011 14:17

Conan the BarbarianIf you’d asked me when I first started writing this column what movies I thought I’d be reviewing eight years down the road, it certainly wouldn’t have been this. This week both of the films I’m talking about are remakes of 1980’s B-movies, but while Fright Night entertained me with a fresh and witty approach, Conan the Barbarian weighs itself down with muscle bound meatheads and an old-fashioned approach.

Conan (Jason Momoa) is born into battle quite literally when his pregnant mother is slain during a raid. Years later, Conan loses his father (Ron Perlman) as well, when his entire village is slaughtered by the evil Khalar Zym who is searching for the final piece of a magical mask. With this mask and a little magical blood ritual, he plans to bring his wife back from the dead and rule the world.

Jason Momoa as ConanThere’s no doubt that Jason Momoa was the right choice for the job. At 6’4” and with an impressively sculpted physique, he’s played the beefcake in shows like Stargate: Atlantis and the latest big hit to come out of HBO, Game of Thrones. If anyone is going to step into the shoes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, it’s probably this guy; and he’s going to look a lot more handsome in them. Momoa puts in a decent performance considering most of the script involves him being silent or grunting. But it’s not his fault that the character lacks depth.

Momoa and NicholsRachel Nichols is Tamara, the “pure blood” being chased down for the magical ritual. She travels with Conan and seems to be falling in love with him even though he only ever talks to her in grumpy, chauvinistic one-liners. It seems like a pretty one-sided relationship actually! The other female presence is Rose McGowan as Marique the witch – a unique looking gal with daddy issues.

Visually, Conan is a great looking film with lots of realistic battle blood and guts flying and a nice sweeping landscape. Although, once again there is absolutely no need for the use of 3D.

It’s the script that fails the film, with cheesy lines such as “I live, I love, I slay.” Really? Conan, you should take a lesson in memorable quotes from Jack Layton, may he rest in peace.

INFOKERNALS:

Directed by Marcus Nispel, Starring Jason Momoa, Rose McGowan, Ron Perlman.

Both Rachel Nichols and Leo Howard (who plays the young Conan) had roles in the G.I. Joe movie.

According to IMDB, actress Alyssa Milano’s nickname is Conan. Don’t ask me why!