December 12, 2011
Review - " Conan the Barbarian " - (on DVD) By Roland Hansen
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Frightened, the older boys all turn back but Conan continues the 'quest'. He is attacked by seven or eight weapon bearing
warriors, unarmed Conan kills them all. As the teenagers are telling the tribes warrior's of the attack Conan walks into camp,
bloodied and beaten, carrying the severed heads of his enemies - spits out the egg to show it was unbroken.
After witnessing the complete destruction of his village as a child, Conan grows up to be a mighty warrior intent on revenge.
We see how the slaughter of his people (including his father) led Conan to grow into such a ruthless warrior. Apparently
growing up on his own also taught him how to function with a rather limited vocabulary. Conan grunts, growls, and barks an
occasional order to his fellow fighters.
Stephan Lang playing the main antagonist, I just.. didn't feel the hatred or emotions of power. If anything, all I felt from his
man was the sadness in his eyes when he would mention his wife. That was about it. He was dressed and looked the part of
the antagonist, but honestly, I didn't feel threatened by him. Not one bit. I felt more scared of him in 2009's James Cameron's
Avatar, when he played Colonel Miles Quaritch.
My main problem with him is his quest for power. There’s some mumbo-jumbo in there about a magic mask that summons
the dead, broken long ago by Conan’s ancestors and hidden around the world like the seven magic Dragon Balls. The
thing is, once Khalar rebuilds the mask, he then spends the whole movie looking for the proper priestess to kill to awaken it,
and once he does so, he doesn’t actually DO anything with it. He almost brings back his dead super-powerful witch wife, but
then he doesn’t. His freaky witch-warrior daughter was a much more compelling villain.
His daughter, Marique, at least had some magic power of her own, such as raising an army of sandmen to fight Conan.
That right there is like ten times cooler than anything her dad does with his suposedly magic mask. Her attempts to seduce
her dad and just her general freaky appearance cemented her as the story’s most memorable villain, and I kind of wish she
had been the real bad guy, simply using her boring father as a puppet.
At end of the day, this is a movie with lots of violence and lots of boobs, so if that’s your kind of thing, you’ll love this. It’s not
Shakespeare, but it wasn’t meant to be. The beginning is way too bloated and the movie’s main plot doesn’t kick in until like
the half-way point. The main thing this version of Conan has going for it is it’s R-rating, which allows for all the
aforementioned boobs and violence, making this movie at least look like we all wanted a Conan movie to look. Momoa gives
it his best to make Conan three-dimensional, and at times comes pretty close to embodying the intensity of the original
Conan the Barbarian
Directed by: Marcus Nispel
Starring: Jason Momoa, Rachel Nichols, Stephen Lang, Rose McGowan,
Said Taghmaoui, Ron Perlman, Leo Howard, Steven O’Donnell, Nonso
Everyone knows about the original Conan the Barbarian (1982) that had
Arnold Schwarzenegger, right? Well... Honestly, I've never seen it (I know...
bad me.), but I'm grading this movie solely as a movie on its own.
Regardless of the fact that this was a remake, I'm treating as its own.
This movie was... interesting. The plot was fairly easy to follow. It began
with the origins of Conan and following into the story line of Conan seeking
vengeance for the death of his Father and his tribe. Jason Momoa
(Conan), the viciousness of his eyes, he really had the look of a killer and a
barbarian. It was nice to see his facial expressions, and he did fit the image
of Conan: a ruthless, vengeful killer, who was hellbent on killing a man.
My favorite part of the film was Young Conan's 'test of manhood". Conan's
father was the tribal leader (chief?). All the tribes boys at about age 15 are
gathered, the chief put a small bird's egg in each boys mouth and told them
the first one to run around the mountain and come back with the egg
unbroken would be allowed to fight with the warriors. Conan at about age
12 joins the group, dad relents and gives him an egg and tells him to get
running. Along the run the boys are pushing, tackling, fighting each other
in order to be first. The youngsters are attacked by a rival tribe.