Turn off the Lights

Conan the Barbarian Review

Dinah’s Rating: 5.5/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 5.3/10
(2 reviews total)

How do two white Cimmerians produce a Hawaiian baby? What’s the name of Topless Wench # 6? Why do mobs always line up one by one to fight a guy rather than all taking him on at once and thus defeating him? These are just some of the questions Conan the Barbarian will draw out of viewers this weekend. Although the remake isn’t the despicable abomination many are expecting, however it certainly isn’t good either.

If you’re unfamiliar with the story, a fierce Cimmerian warrior goes on a quest for vengeance, fights epic battles across the great nations of Hyboria against hulking rivals, horrific monsters and impossible odds. His adventure leads him to the encroaching supernatural evil that killed his father.

The barbarian in question is played by Jason Mamoa, a Hawaiian actor who has mainly been in television series such as Baywatch, Stargate: Atlantis, and Game of Thrones. The salty lady of interest is Tamara (Rachel Nichols), a monk with pure blood that can empower a mystical mask. That mask is in the hands of Khalar Zym (Stephan Lang) and his sorceress daughter Marique (Rose McGowan).


Conan the Barbarian
is presented as a story of vengeance, but it plays off more as a quest or adventure in the order of Prince of Persia or one of the many “Pirates of the Caribbean” 
films. It is brimming with clichés, naked women and inconsistent dialogue. The plot contrivances stumble over one another. At one point, Conan brings back an old friend simply to pick a lock to an underground ocean. Hijinks ensue when some sea creature is loosed on them for a ridiculously long, boring battle. At other times the action is great and timely though, including the sand battle alluded to in the trailers. The 3-D technology is not used to enhance the battles, though there is depth (no cheesy swordplay at the screen).

However, for every plus in the action column, a stark negative must be placed for every other standard filmmaking element. Momoa lacks charisma on screen and even though he gives a nude glimpse of his body it is not enough to carry the attention span of most women through the runtime. Conan’s romance with Tamara is weak at best even during their extended love scene it feels forced. The dialogue and character development is the same. Even with more credible actors, the film belly-flops (as was the case in Cowboys & Aliens).

Conan the Barbarian doesn’t bother with inventive camerawork, coherent plot development, or memorable dialogue. Instead it focuses on action and gore. Heads are chopped, smashed and impaled with blood-gushing glory. So, although this isn’t high quality filmmaking, it was able to draw a trickle of claps from a theater audience. In that vein it will entertain those in its target audience.

Rating: 5.5/10

Conan the Barbarian Review
Directed by Marcus Nispel
Written by Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer, and Sean Hood
Starring: Jason Momoa, Ron Perlman, Rose McGowan, Stephan Lang

Other Player Affinity Reviews

Simon thought: “‘I live, I love, I kill, I am content,’ declares Conan pending the climax of this period-action remake. For me, I thankfully didn’t die, I certainly did not like, I had no murderous thoughts afterwards and I was only somewhat nauseated. The Grand Marshall of this summer’s useless remake parade, Conan the Barbarian boasts lavish production values and a larger than life portrayal of the warrior from Jason Momoa, who carries over the bravado he boasted as Khal Drogo in HBO’s Game of Thrones. He does everything he can with his line-light material. The whole ordeal is just too silly at too many points to take seriously in any capacity let alone when the film exists as an update of a classic. The hopelessly low expectations laid upon me by the laughable trailers were perhaps the saving grace of “Conan.” Relativity once again saves the B movie.” Rating: 5/10


Player Affinity Composite Rating: 5.3/10 

 
Rating
5.3

Liked this article? Try These!

Comments

Meet the Author

Follow Us