Conan the Barbarian

release year: 2011
genre: fantasy/action remake
viewing setting: home DVD, 5/2/12 and theater, 8/28/11

synopsis: After an evil warlord destroys his village and kills his father, a young warrior grows up and seeks revenge.

impressions: That "synopsis" line could apply to any of a dozen generic sword-and-sorcery movies. This wasn't as bad as the reviews made it sound, mainly because of plentiful action and blood, but the problem with Conan is that he needs to be in a TV series. This would allow all of the classic stories to be told properly, instead of in a roughly two-hour time limit which requires various plot elements to be mashed together to produce something unlike any given story by Robert E. Howard. Anyway, I digress. There was a TON of violent action, and for that I am grateful. The plot was simple and moved along. I did have a problem understanding, at times, what Conan and a few other characters were saying; I'm not sure if it was accents or mumbling or bad dialogue.

something this movie has that no other movie has: molten iron being dumped on someone, melting their top half way instantly...ouch!

acting: Jason Momoa does a good job as Conan, though his physique can't surpass Arnold's in the 1982 original. Stephen Lang is good as a tough warrior who's the main bad guy. Ron Perlman is Conan's father, a warrior and leader. Rachel Nichols is Conan's love interest and a fairly competent heroine too. Rose McGowan is creepy as the bad guy's daughter, who's an evil sorceress. Bob Sapp plays one of Conan's warrior friends.

final word: I can't say if it's better of worse than the original, but it is different, and it is entertaining. Any movie that starts off with a boy singlehandedly defeating three vicious enemy warriors and bringing their heads to his dad the chieftain can't be all bad.

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