It is time to make my usual disclaimer that I have not seen the original Conan the Barbarian therefore this review is based solely on the film I have seen today. I feel like I have typed this disclaimer several times already this month but this probably says more about my lack of film knowledge than it does about the sudden influx of remakes.
PLOT: Conan (Jason Momoa) is a young Barbarian being trained by his father (Ron Perlman) to become a great warrior. Khalar Zym (Stephen Lang) and his creepy ass daughter (Rose McGowan) invades their village in search for the final piece of a mask which will give him great and unexplained powers. Khalar kills Ron Perlman and Conan swears revenge. Manly grunt. Blood splatter. Blood splatter. Blood splatter. Drinking. Boobs. Manly grunt (of approval). Blood splatter. Blood splatter. Damsel in distress. Comedy bonding. Blood splatter. Blood splatter. Graphic sex scene. Blood splatter. Damsel screaming. Manly grunt. Damsel screaming. Blood splatter. Death of creepy ass daughter. Blood splatter. Damsel screaming. Death of Khalar. Damsel finally stops screaming and goes home. Conan rides off into the sunset. END PLOT
The plot manages to be unoriginal and non-existent at the same so kudos to the writers on that front.
The set pieces were all sub par and unremarkable. The grand finale was severely hampered by the fact that Tamara (Rachel Nichols), the love interest, was a screamer, sorry let me rephrase that – she was a FUCKING SCREAMER! The screaming lasted so long I think I aged twenty years by repressing the violent agitation which was growing inside me.
The film was bloody very bloody. The first few blood splatters caught me by surprise and I did find myself wincing but after ten minutes it became boringly repetitive. Conan killed random extras with so much manly vigour they all seemed to explode watery blood.
Jason Momoa has perfected the art of growling and frowning on cue but that is all he can do. Conan doesn’t speak in sentences which contain more than four words which suits Momoa perfectly as I don’t think he can speak in sentences which contain more than four words. Momoa is devoid of charm, charisma and generally all the traits one would expect a leading man to have.
The supporting cast didn’t fare much better but I think the fact that Khalar and his creepy ass daughter had more screen time than Conan speaks volumes. Thank Christ the great Ron Perlman had the sense to bail early on saving me the painful experience of having to say something negative about him.
In several wide shots the landscape looked good and some of the smaller sets were impressive. There were however some dodgy shots of Conan approaching large cities which were obviously green screen. The film attempted to have the look and feel of a large scale “epic” but it ended up being cheap and nasty.
Conan the Barbarian isn’t cheesy nor is it so bad it’s good – it is just bad. This is disappointing as the director Marcus Nispel made Pathfinder, a very entertaining bad film. Conan gets 3/10 but only because I am in a generous mood.