— Sidney Poitier as Virgil Tibbs from In the Heat of the Night, 1967
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August 19, 2011
Review: Conan The Barbarian
— Posted by Erik
Genre: Action / Adventure / Fantasy
Director: Marcus Nispel
Cast: Jason Momoa, Stephen Lang, Rachel Nichols, Rose Mcgowan and Ron Perlman.
The General Idea
Conan (Jason Momoa) is on a quest for vengeance, for the murder of his father (Ron Perlman) and the slaughter of his entire village by the evil warlord Khalar Zym (Stephen Lang). Who is on a quest of his own for the Acheron Bone Mask, perpetrates these acts of violence and genocide. Yup you got it, it’s as dumb as it sounds but don’t worry the story takes a back seat in this adventure.
Momoa is a decent enough Conan, he looks the part and swings a sword with conviction. I dare say he is bested by young Conan played by Leo Howard, seeing Conan grow up however brief was one of the better moments, I couldn’t tell you his age but he is an absolute badass even as a tiny barbarian.
Stephen Lang does a good job as the movies villain Khalar Zhym, when the dialogue allows it.
The battles scenes are not amazing but they are good, the shot is held long enough and cuts are appropriately placed to keep the action interesting. One scene in particular stands out – Conan fights enchanted sand warriors? Ya lets call them that. Anyway these are a great mix of CGI and special effects make-up, one of the rare moments when the CGI does not look like straight out of a SyFy show.
Oh man where to start, how about we start with two of the absolute worst performances in the entire movie.
Rose Mcgowan as Marique the creepy daughter to Khalar Zym, every line she had was completely butchered – not that the lines themselves were any good. Staying in a state somewhere between constipated and horny every time she came on screen I wanted to set the theater on fire.
Saïd Taghmaoui as Ela-Shan a skittish burglar? Thankfully he’s not in many scenes, but as with Mcgowan when he opened his mouth you wish he hadn’t.
The 3D added nothing to the movie; mind you I am not a fan of 3D but not once did this feel like it was worth while.
The biggest problem is not one single thing but it can be described with a single word, uneven. The CGI as mentioned earlier ranges from actually good to down right awful, same can be said about the costume’s and the few instance’s of dialogue.
One thing that is however consistent is the story its bad throughout, the bone mask, the pure blood – All you actually need to know is, Conan pissed, Conan want revenge.
Despite my above tirade of dislikes there were parts of the movie that kept me entertained and while it may have lost a lot of steam towards the end, I had a good enough time overall. If you need a strong story and good dialogue I do not recommend a trip to Hyboria. If you want to get your fill of mindless action, pectorals, tits and a lot of blood, enjoy.
Arnie you are still the true Conan.
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