Friday, November 18, 2011

CAPSULE REVIEW: Conan the Barbarian (2011)

How do you break free from the shadows of vintage Schwarzenegger? Is it even worth trying? The answer is yes, my friends. The way it’s accomplished is to go back to kick-ass source material and adapt it as faithfully as possible. Conan the Barbarian doesn’t follow the books exactly, but it has the same spirit as the pulp stories did. There are maybe two scenes in this film that aren’t action sequences, and the battles are bloody, quick, and varied enough to keep you from being bored. Jason Momoa might as well be the real-life version of Conan, in looks and in attitude, and in retrospect he carries the role with a savagery and slight cockiness that fits the character better than Arnold did (however blasphemous it sounds). On the downside, Rose McGowan still can’t act, but thankfully she’s just the auxillary villian to Stephen Lang’s frothing-at-the-mouth portrayal of would-be wizard Khalar Zym. The film is beautiful, and the landscapes look like they were lifted out of a Frazetta painting. The more I think about this film, the more I like it, so here’s hoping it a sequel gets green-lighted. As a side note, I saw this in 3D (I had a groupon - no way in hell I would pay full price) and it added nothing except slight blurriness. This rates slightly low on my rating scale (more on that sometime maybe), but I enjoyed the hell out of it.

6/10 = Worth checking out

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