Movie Review XXIV

by zenquaker

Conan the Barbarian (2011)

Young Conan of Cimmeria is the best of the young warriors. This avails him not when the howling raiders come to his town seeking fragments of an ancient artifact. After he is left the sole survivor of the village, he begins a wandering life as a thief, a rogue, and a pirate. But always he searches for the slavers who killed his family.

I had hesitated to rent this movie. I mean, it’s not like the first one was all that good, and remakes are so often worse than the original. But I was pleasantly surprised. It’s very much a high fantasy movie: raiders screaming with animal howls, bare breasted harlots, a ship carried across land by eight elephants.It may be a bit goofy at times, but it totally fits the genre, and I liked it [+]. The first fight scene had me worried. It wasn’t too bad, except for the guy who is about to kill Conan’s laboring mother, but pauses to give Ron Perlman (giving another decent, workmanlike performance) time to come up behind him and slice hiback open from top to bottom. However, that was a minor thing, and the later fight scenes were quite good. The one with the sand golems was excellent, and made up for any other bobbles [+]. Not all of the characters were fleshed out [-], but there was some interplay between the villains that I appreciated. The story was also pretty light, but this worked out well. [+]. It didn’t have any gaping logical holes, and it got out of the way of the fighting, wenching, and sorcery. I’m giving it one point of oomph for being retro-fun and better than I expected.

I was hesitant to rent this because it had a really low rating on Netflix. Looking closer only seven people rated it, and three trashed it for the following reasons: they couldn’t find the special features, they rented it knowing they’d hate it, and they wanted it to be exactly like the books (and couldn’t follow the amazingly simple plot because they fast forwarded through the movie). My answers (in order) are: rate the movie, rent a different movie, and oh wah (duh).

Final Rating: 7/10

Best Quote: No man shall live in chains. (yeah, it’s not a movie you watch for the dialog).

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