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Conan the Barbarian

Conan the Barbarian: Shallow Remake of Shallow Action-Fantasy

  • Jason MomoaRon Perlman...
  • Action & AdventureFantasy
  • Marcus Nispel
reviewed by
Omar Atef
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Conan the Barbarian: Shallow Remake of Shallow Action-Fantasy

Momoa is the lucky hunk chosen to star as this generation’s Conan the
Barbarian. Played famously by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1982, the tale of the
legendary warrior begins with him as a young man with a traumatised childhood.

With his
mother having died giving birth to him, and his father Corin (Pearlman)
murdered in front of him amid his village being pillaged and slaughtered, Conan
believes that he was born on this Earth for one reason and one reason only; to
become a fearless warrior.

You don’t
need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that all this makes the perfect
recipe for an epic vengeance mission, and so our hero must travel across the
continent of Hyboria to find sorcerer Khalar Zym (Lang), and destroy him by any
means necessary.

Conan the
‘s story
is as predictable as the formula suggests, yet this is not its biggest
downfall. Even the sometimes interesting journey of the protagonist’s rise to
valour is as two-dimensional as you’re likely to see. We aren’t naive enough to
expect major character depth in a film like this, but there’s almost no
character arc with Conan; there is little change in his character throughout,
and so there is little about him to make us root for him.

Moving on
to the cast we must of course start with Momoa. There’s no denying that his rough,
good looks and sculpted figure make him great for the part (see him in
television shows Stargate: Atlantis and Game of Thrones). Unfortunately,
that’s as far as it goes; as soon as Momoa uttered his first words, we knew we
were in for a long hour-and-a-half. Usually anything would be an improvement on
Arnie, but at least he’s entertaining to watch; even if it is for the wrong

As for
the supporting cast, Rachel Nichols appears as nothing but a peripheral
accessory, with nothing special to offer. Another disappointment comes in the
form of Stephen Lang, who fails to channel the same bad-guy qualities into his
role as Khalar Zym as he did in Avatar as the wicked Colonel Miles

All this
aside, this might be one for those who love a bit of blood and gore. However,
the action scenes are cluttered and hardly discernible. The poorly choreographed
scenes are noticeably inferior to those in Clash of the Titans and 300.
Even the 3D effects can’t save the laboured visuals.

It’d be
unfair to call this a failed attempt to revive what was actually quite a
popular franchise, because in truth, the original wasn’t that much better. The
80s were a much simpler time in Hollywood, and the modern film-goer can no
longer be fooled into enjoying something as shallow as this film.

Like This? Try

Thor, Clash of the Titans, 300,

360 Tip

Mickey Rourke rejected the chance to play Corin so that he could work on Immortals. The film, which tells the story of Greek warrior Theseus, is set to be released in November.

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