August 19th, 2011

Movie Review - Conan the Barbarian


Conan the Barbarian









Starring: Jason Momoa, Stephen Lang, Rachel Nichols, Ron Perlman, Rose McGowan, Leo Howard, Ivana Staneva, and more.





Directed by: Marcus Nispel  Based on: Robert E Howard Conan Universe Written by: Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer, and Sean Hood. Original Music by: Tyler Bates





Premise:
Conan spends his days freeing slaves, fighting, loving and drinking as
he seeks information on the man responsible for the destruction of his
village when he was a boy. When he sees one of the men in the original party, he seeks him out to get more information. Vengeance will be his.





Review: Jason Momoa was a great Conan. All the
actors and actresses were great. Especially the kids who played young
Conan and young Marique. The character of Tamara was both gutsy and
real, not just a token female, which was nice.




The settings were very well done. And the vistas of the
far off cities and towns, incredible. (Loved Skull Cave!) There were
several to die for moon sky shots too. Lots of attention to detail -
funky amalgamation for the armors and clothing of different countries.
Several of the 'real' locations added so much more to sell the 'movie'
locations, it was wonderful. They found some truly amazing places in Bulgaria for this film.




Loads of good fights. Some nudity and a hefty amount of
gore, so this one is not for kids. The special effects were excellent.
The sandmen battle scene totally fun! Oh and it'd been a while since I'd
seen a tentacled monster fight - oh yeah!




There were several levels to some of the characters and
even levels of motivation especially for Khalar Zym (main baddy) and
Marique (main baddy's daughter). For a bunch of other characters,
however, we got a lot of nada. They looked interesting, they had parts
to play, but unfortunately we found out little to nothing about them,
which meant when they were gone, it wasn't as satisfying as it could
have been to have seen their demise.




All the story and buildup was pretty good. But the last twenty
percent of the movie, they seemed to lose it. Unfortunately, since this
was the most important section of the film... The bad guy achieves goal
one of two, and this should have had some major impact, but aside from
getting a cool new hat and cracks opening in the flooring, it didn't
seem to do much for him. (Though the did have a very imaginative battle
on the sacrifice wheel while falling!) Marique was shown as having
magic, yet when the big battle was at hand, she's got nothing to show
for it - not even the poison she'd used before.




Worse
though was the ending of the film. After the big bad has been dealt
with, we get like a minute of post between the two main characters, and
then Conan is gone. Then another minute as he comes full circle by going
home and then the movie is over. Not even voice over letting us know he
has more adventures in his future. It pretty much sucked all the
previous fun out the window. :( Pretty much ruined it.




So for cool fight scenes, some great CGI, and neat
locations the payoff is there. Plot wise, not so much. Also, aside from
the beginning and ending credits, the 3D is lost on the film. Not worth
the extra bucks for that - 2D should be fine.





Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Matinee price)