Conan the Barbarian
Starring: Jason Momoa, Stephen Lang, Rachel Nichols, Ron Perlman, Rose McGowan, Leo Howard, Ivana Staneva, and more.
Directed by: Marcus Nispel Based on: Robert E Howard Conan Universe Written by: Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer, and Sean Hood. Original Music by: Tyler Bates
Premise: Conan spends his days freeing slaves, fighting, loving and drinking as he seeks information on the man responsible for the destruction of his village when he was a boy. When he sees one of the men in the original party, he seeks him out to get more information. Vengeance will be his.
Review: Jason Momoa was a great Conan. All the actors and actresses were great. Especially the kids who played young Conan and young Marique. The character of Tamara was both gutsy and real, not just a token female, which was nice.
The settings were very well done. And the vistas of the far off cities and towns, incredible. (Loved Skull Cave!) There were several to die for moon sky shots too. Lots of attention to detail - funky amalgamation for the armors and clothing of different countries. Several of the 'real' locations added so much more to sell the 'movie' locations, it was wonderful. They found some truly amazing places in Bulgaria for this film.
Loads of good fights. Some nudity and a hefty amount of gore, so this one is not for kids. The special effects were excellent. The sandmen battle scene totally fun! Oh and it'd been a while since I'd seen a tentacled monster fight - oh yeah!
There were several levels to some of the characters and even levels of motivation especially for Khalar Zym (main baddy) and Marique (main baddy's daughter). For a bunch of other characters, however, we got a lot of nada. They looked interesting, they had parts to play, but unfortunately we found out little to nothing about them, which meant when they were gone, it wasn't as satisfying as it could have been to have seen their demise.
All the story and buildup was pretty good. But the last twenty percent of the movie, they seemed to lose it. Unfortunately, since this was the most important section of the film... The bad guy achieves goal one of two, and this should have had some major impact, but aside from getting a cool new hat and cracks opening in the flooring, it didn't seem to do much for him. (Though the did have a very imaginative battle on the sacrifice wheel while falling!) Marique was shown as having magic, yet when the big battle was at hand, she's got nothing to show for it - not even the poison she'd used before.
Worse though was the ending of the film. After the big bad has been dealt with, we get like a minute of post between the two main characters, and then Conan is gone. Then another minute as he comes full circle by going home and then the movie is over. Not even voice over letting us know he has more adventures in his future. It pretty much sucked all the previous fun out the window. :( Pretty much ruined it.
So for cool fight scenes, some great CGI, and neat locations the payoff is there. Plot wise, not so much. Also, aside from the beginning and ending credits, the 3D is lost on the film. Not worth the extra bucks for that - 2D should be fine.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Matinee price)