Conan the Barbarian (2011)

Geoff Harris

Conan the Barbarian (1982) is a cinematic jewel contrasting stillness and frantic energy against an epic story of revenge and redemption. Perhaps the best role Arnold Schwarzenegger has ever done. A true classic.

<Uh…Geoff? Not the right one. – Editor>

Conan the Barbarian (2011) is a movie. It’s about 152 or so minutes long. It stars Jason Momoa, fresh from his supporting role on Game of Thrones. I swore not too long ago I’d stop shitting on movies I didn’t like and try to find SOMETHING good about them.



Okay. I tried.

The plot is something so up its own ass it should have “SyFy Presents” in the header. A warlord(?) seeks to resurrect his deceased wife, a sorceress, using an artifact which had been broken into several pieces and scattered across Hyboria in the possession of several barbarian tribes. He goes around killing every tribe he can find until finding (presumably) the final piece of what was once a bone mask with Conan’s people. The Warlord also needs the blood of a “Pure Blood” descendant of the original necromancers who crafted the mask in the first place. Pretty trope-tastic so far. Conan watches his father die and then slips away escaping the slaughter. Twenty something years later we find a grown-ass Conan fudging about as a quasi-pirate/liberator of the oppressed. He’s rude. He’s crude. He’s a greasy slap of meat with dull eyes and a head full of stringy hair. Every inch an 80’s action hero. I’ll confess this drek did make me yearn to rewatch The Sword and the Sorcerer. Not because of the plot but because Momoa reminded me of a young Lee Hornsby with just a dash of Marc Singer’s Beastmaster thrown in. This movie has that feel. It’s a roller-coaster ride of fast cuts and flashy moves with little if any real substance.

Since I’m trying REALLY HARD to not tear any more holes in this celluloid craptacular I’m going to invent a new rating system for myself.

Rewatchability? Meh. I’ve seen this movie a dozen times before when it was called Kull the Conquerer.

High Point? It ended.

Low Point? Several. There was a flat line in character development here. I didn’t like any of the characters and couldn’t form any attachment strong enough to care what happened to any of them.

Overall? Give it a Pass. Not worth seeing unless you’re a hardcore fan of Jason Momoa or curious what movies looked like before cellphones and downloads.

I will say this though: it did get made. I can bitch all I want but it won’t change the fact that somebody wrote a screenplay, got paid for it, and watched it be made into a feature film whereas I am a hack who writes off-the-cuff opinion pieces wishing I was not daydreaming all my good ideas away.

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