Conan the Barbarian Movie Review

Conan the Barbarian Movie Review


Upcoming movie Conan the Barbarian, directed by Marcus Nispell, is like one big mash up of bits and pieces of big, bloody, movie scenes. There’s no character development, plot, or decent staging. Viewers are going to be highly disappointed with this new movie and between this new movie release and Fright Night, it’s looking like Spy Kids 4is going to be tops in theaters. Conan the Barbarian will NOT be one of this year’s top action movies.

The premise of this movie picture is that Conan, a Cimmerian warrior, (played as a child by Leo Howard) happens to be a great fighter and knows about strategy and brutality when he’s very young. His father Corin, played by Ron Perlman, is killed right in front of him and Conan decides to take revenge on KhalarZym, the warlord played by Stephen Lang, who has killed off many of his people and ruined Conan’s life.

It takes quite a while for Conan (played as an adult by Jason Momoa of “Game of Thrones”) to develop amazing muscles and to find KhalarZym. By this point, Kym is attempting to rule the world with the help of a special mask with which he’ll be granted magical powers. The twist is that Kym needs the help of a woman monk named Tamara, who’s played by Rachel Nichols. Conan figures this out and talks Tamara into joining him, rather than Kym, and falls in love with Tamara.

There’s so much violence in this film that it seems like that’s all it’s about. Somebody is always being killed by stabbing or being smashed on a rock. At some point the filmmakers must have rethought things and then hired, of all people, Morgan Freeman to do a voiceover narration. Even the actors look surprised when there’s a moment with no violence.

What’s even worse is that one violent scene blends with another as there’s no sense of pacing in Conan the Barbarian. There are some fairly impressive sets but even these are pushed to the background by the incessant violence. Conan is one-dimensional. He’s only got one mission. While there’s a scene early in the film where Corin tries to teach Conan that there should be balance, Conan remains the same. The only thing he does seem to learn is respect for Tamara. This means there’s no real emotion in the movie so there’s no climax.

However, Jason Momoa does okay giving Conan energy and likeability. Nichols is a decent love interest and gives a little female perspective in the heavily male movie. Stephen Lang has played lots of bad guys, but here, as the evil warlord, he’s somehow lackluster – really due more to bad writing than to his own lack of effort. Both Conan and Khalar want revenge and since it’s hard to tell them apart, except for the fact that one is the good guy and one is the bad guy, there isn’t enough in the fighting to settle the situation – even with Morgan Freeman narrating.

The original Conan films were great, and future Conan movies may be great. Conan the Barbarian is just barbaric.


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