Conan the Barbarian

Conan the Barbarian is an 2011 Millennium Films action fantasy film based off the character Conan the Barbarian created by Robert E. Howard.  It is a new interpretation of the mythology, and is not related to the two films from Universal Pictures, 1982’s Conan the Barbarian and 1984’s Conan the Destroyer, that starred Arnold SchwarzeneggerConan the Barbarian was released in 2D and Real D Digital 3D.

The film stars Jason Momoa, Rachel Nichols, Stephen Lang, Rose McGowan, Bob Sapp, Steven O’Donnell, and Ron Perlman.

The music is written and composed by Tyler Bates.

The film is written by Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer, and Sean Hood.

The film is produced by Millennium Films, Paradox Entertainment, and Emmett Furla Films, and is distributed by Lionsgate.

Conan the Barbarian is directed by Marcus Nispel.


I’m going to state this up front for everyone……I loved this movie!!!  If you’ve been following my ||Action Corner|| segments or just know the kind of person I am, then you know that I live for these kinds of movies.  With that said, I am going to do this review as objectively as I can.  Like I tell other people, just because you like or love a movie doesn’t make it a good movie and visa versa.

This remake is streets ahead of the original film (point of fact: I don’t like the original Conan the Barbarian.  It’s a piece of shit).  The action plays out really well and all the actors portray their parts with extreme amounts of fun.  The direction got the job done for the movie, and the music was generic but good.  A low point about the film though was the editing, which seemed to be all over the place.

Jason Momoa shines in the title role of Conan.  While Arnold brought huge muscles and nothing else to the table, Momoa was able to bring his true kick ass-style as well as a sense of humor to the role.  Instead of swinging around a giant sword and hoping to hit something, he actually was a warrior.  Trained from an early age by his father in the art of swordplay, Conan showed excellent skill with the blade, as well as unarmed fighting.  Again, Momoa would fight people and Arnold would swing the sword around like he was trying to chop down a tree.  Even better, you could understand what Momoa was saying.  The other man to just take over the role was the awesome Stephen Lang!!!  The colonel from Avatar is now a warlord bent on conquering the world.  How does it get any better than that?  Well if you add in some naked Rachel Nichols and the EPIC Ron Perlman…well then you know you are in for a good time.

The action plays out extremely well.  The movie is just a string of awesome and bloody fight scenes…in 3D!!!  It actually took me by surprise to find out that this movie was post-converted into 3D opposed to being shot in 3D.  It is the best conversion I’ve ever seen.  Unfortunately, the movie did not benefit from the 3D effect.  Many of the scenes were in dark areas and 3D works best in well-lit areas that allow you to see tons of depth on screen.  All of the dark corridors and forests just didn’t work for the effect.  The best parts for 3D were the opening and closing credits, which had red burning ash flying around the screen while 3D words appeared on the screen.

In terms of the music, I really don’t remember the score.  That means that it just wasn’t any good.  Unfortunately in a movie like this the score is a very distant second.

The editing of the film is just…well…bad.  I didn’t notice it at first though.  It wasn’t until fellow Fandom Menace member Andrew Craig pointed out the poor editing in several scenes that I noticed it the second time I watched the film.  While it wasn’t enough to take me out of the film, it is a bad film-making mistake.  Just bad.  Luckily, the bad editing was left to just the talking scenes and not the fighting scenes, which were cut together really well.  No shaky cam for this movie!!!

The website Rotten Tomatoes had this to say about the movie: “while its relentless, gory violence is more faithful to the Robert E. Howard books, Conan the Barbarian forsakes three-dimensional characters, dialogue, and acting in favor of unnecessary 3D effects.”  Honestly, the first part of this statement is right.  It is relentless, gory, violent, and is more faithful to the Robert E. Howard books.  Were the people from Rotten Tomatoes expecting something more this movie???  Maybe it’s just the insane amount of action movies I watch and own, but I got everything I wanted from Conan the Barbarian, but I do understand that it isn’t the best movie.  I hope I remained impartial in this review.

a 6 out of 10

(release date: 19 August 2011)

~ by Matt Whitfield on August 22, 2011.

2 Responses to “Conan the Barbarian”

  1. With which movie can we compare this one?

    • Conan followed in the footsteps of recent action films like “Drive Angry” and “Machete”. The action all plays out really over-the-top with the violence and gore, but at the same time isn’t jokey like those movies. The overall tone of the film feels more in line “The Mechanic” or “The Expendables”. But the first film I thought to compare it to was “The Warrior’s Way”. Very violent, but not jokey. I know a lot of people did not like “The Warrior’s Way” but I did.

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