Plot: As the film begins, a young Cimmerian boy, Conan is being educated by his father Corin on the importance of steel to their people. Soon after, a group of warriors led by a warlord systematically destroys Conan’s village to obtain part of a mask in Corin’s possession. Left to die with his son, who is holding the vat of molten metal placed above him, Corin sacrifices himself so Conan can live.
Having ventured into an unforgiving world, hunting down the warlord for years, a now-adult Conan finally gets a lead when he learns Lucius, one of the men who ransacked Conan’s village and whose nose he’d chopped off, became a warden. Allowing himself to be imprisoned, Conan confronts Lucius, learning that the warlord is known as Khalar Zym before forcing him to swallow the keys to every prisoner’s shackles so Lucius would be slaughtered by them.
On his path of revenge, Conan chances upon Tamara, a beautiful novice nun and a descendant of the bloodline of the necromancers who first created the mask. Zym needs her blood to restore the mask so he can use its power to revive his wife. Learning of this from Remo, Khalar Zym’s henchman, Conan brings Tamara along with him to use her as bait. Along the way he falls for her and, after she’s kidnapepd by Marique, Khalar Zym’s witch daughter, he fights through Khalar Zym’s followers, destroys the mask and ends by accompanying Tamara to her city before returning to his burned-down village.
Impressions: You know I think the fantasy genre with swords and wizardry is my absolute favorite genre for movies. So with Beastmaster, Krull, the original Conan film, then we can throw LOTR in there, I’m a huge sucker for these types of films.
Conan wasn’t the greatest movie and it’s easy to see where there are mixed reviews, more so bad. But for an R-rated fantasy film this movie was pretty enjoyable. I suppose in some ways it’s this summer’s Expendables, but in other ways it’s absolutely bizarre this new Conan movie exists. The setting for this film was an absolute spectacle and I really liked seeing the ‘world’ of Conan. I think a bit more time could’ve been invested in the quest aspect of his journeys and instead of jumping from place to place. It’s tough to actually ask for given the film is already almost 2 hours long. I saw a lot of potential in this film, more than I’ve seen in all the movies I’ve watched this summer. It’s absolutely bizarre and intriguing at the same time.
The casting all around I thought was perfect. Momoa is a different Conan. It’s hard to disassociate yourself with Arnold just cause well, it’s Arnold. But there is a definite lean athleticism to Momoa that gives his Conan a sense, yeah this guy is a real barbarian. I could go from character to character but I think if a movie has me wanting more, it’s done a good job. That was Conan to me. I can’t outright recommend watching this in the theater though, it’s odd like that but I do think it should be watched. They’re already planning for a sequel and from what I’ve heard about what’s planned, it’s exactly what I thought was missing in the first one. It’s strange too, while this movie was essentially an origin movie, you almost didn’t need to do it like that. I only say that as it could’ve been another way to produce this movie and probably omitted a good 20 minutes and then used that time to approach other aspect of the film.
I know I’ll definitely buy this film on Blu-ray. I did have to catch this movie in 3D, cause well… there were no other options. Much like my viewing of Priest earlier this summer, Conan’s 3D is only a benefit when viewing the dynamic setting. In that sense the cinematography is really nice, but beyond that the 3D is useless. It’s almost like looking through a Panoramic Viewer, you see the slide once and you skip ahead to the next, or you might go back to view it one more time. It’s visually memorable only because of the scenery, perhaps the 3D adds that lasting effect but it’s still not necessary. Hopefully Conan moves forwards and continues add more ‘mysticism’ to the sequels, there is a lot of potential here. Basically because this is a dead genre and in terms of films, it’s this genre that really lends a sense of escapism if you ever really actually relied on that with films.
OH. What I did find hilarious. Just as James Earl Jones was the original voice for all things voice over. It’s clear Morgan Freeman is the new voice for all things voice over today. Yes, he does lend his voice in this film. It caught me by surprise but was also somewhat strangely nostalgic in a sense that it’s a passing of the torch type of sentiment.