Man, just look at Jason Mamoa up there. He’s got that lion-like mane of hair, those dark eyes, and the build of a panther. Not pictured is the wolfish grin he puts on while slicing people up. The man IS Conan. It’s awesome that they found not just someone to play a perfect Conan but a fan who wants to be the perfect Conan.
Unfortunately he is surrounded by piles and piles of shit.
I had so much hope. This movie was made to show people who Conan really is, they make that clear in the credits with a nice disclamer pointing out that this was based off Conan as conceived by his creator Robert E. Howard. It is not a remake, it is an attempt to get Conan’s name out there and treat the character right. But it is a failure.
Again, I had hope. They show his ‘birth in battle.’ Early on young Conan viciously takes out four picts single-handedly. This is awesome. Later in life after he has freed a bunch of slaves he is asked “How are we to live? You have taken all the weapons and food?” Conan laughs and then takes one of the women too. It seems like someone involved understood that Conan should not be the movie you take your girlfriend to see; it is the movie you see then go home and take your girlfriend.
But then the rest of the film just messes everything up. The plot is inane, once again hinging on a childhood tragedy to motivate Conan. To hell with that! The literary Conan left his home because he was bored and wanted a drink, not due to some sort of injustice done to his people. There are mindless scenes tossed in simply so they can have more flashy fights, not a single thought given to why they are happening. The subtitles keep telling me where each location is, but it never stops to provide space or depth. I know Hyboria and still couldn’t tell you where things were going down at.
Also, I suggest to the scriptwriters that if the entire plot hinges on an evil warlord obtaining a crown of amazing power, that this crown should actually do something other than make the warlord look like he is wearing a stupid hat. Plus, if you are an evil warlord and Conan is balanced upon a disk held in place over a volcano only by a pair of rocks it is best to not jump in after him. You have minions evil warlord man, you throw your minions in until their dead bodies weigh the disk down enough to make it fall.
The second offender was the music. Conan is already attached to one of the best film scores ever, so this movie had an uphill battle to fight. And it lost hard. I found the score to be unremarkable and mostly unremembered. I say ‘mostly’ because I keep thinking of a scene where Conan has to sneak into a secret ceremony but as he breaks a guards neck the music comes charging in behind him. It felt crass and jarred me from the film.
The cinematography was also complete garbage. There was this guy, I don’t know who he was, but he wrapped a chain around his arm and picked up a hammer. The film dedicated roughly eight cuts to these actions. I couldn’t get a grip on where or how the action was taking place. There was a lot of movement and people seemed to be doing stuff of interest but I couldn’t see a bit of it. Also the special effects and gore. There was a lot of gore, and GCI. So…a lot of GCI gore. I’m not squeamish, and there should be a lot of blood in a Conan movie. However there should not be so much that as I leave the theatre and trip I fear hitting the wall because I know my body will immediately drain itself of the red stuff. It was so overblown that at one point a man was hurled into a wall, who he was or why I don’t know, and he didn’t splash blood everywhere and I was taken out of the movie by that.
This movie sucks, but I hope it gets a sequel. I would love for Jason Mamoa to play Conan again, but this time in a good film. It’s somewhat funny. The old movie felt like an actual Robert E. Howard story, it just failed to have a good Conan. To this day I just pretend Arnold was a Nord and enjoy the hell out of that movie. Here we have a great Conan, but a shit movie in all respects. If we could only drop the stupid slaughtered Cimmerian village crap and drop Mamoa into the original movie it would be truly epic.
Also, the whole 3D thing…this film went with the ‘horror movie’ 3D with stuff flying at the camera. It’s sad because with the originals sweeping vistas and clear cut cinematography it would probably look great in 3D. But here I’m sure had I actually seen this dreck in 3D I would have had a seizure.