Thursday, December 1, 2011

Conan the Barbarian

By Sati. Thursday, December 1, 2011 , , , , ,
25/100 (113 min, 2011)
Plot: The tale of Conan the Cimmerian and his adventures across the continent of Hyboria on a quest to avenge the murder of his father and the slaughter of his village.
Director: Marcus Nispel
Writers: Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer
Stars: Jason Momoa, Ron Perlman and Rose McGowan

Blood and shit

Sometimes as I watch a movie, I'm beginning to wonder - am I a masochist? I mean I literally have no clue to what possessed me to watch this film. Perhaps the fact that two movies, which also seemed incredibly silly - "Clash of the Titans" and "Prince of Persia" turned out to be entertaining. "Conan the Barbarian" has about three good things in it and that's it. It's not the worst movie that is out there - in the sea of pretentious and boring indie movies and genuinely despicable crap like "The Human Centipede" it's still a harmless "entertainment". It's not boring, I'd give it that. It is however insanely predictable and stupid.
The movie was marketed as very violent and gory - that is true, the blood is gushing and the limbs are flying around, but is that really a good thing? If the gore factor was realistic, sure, it is a movie about barbarians after all. But some scenes in the film bring "Saw" to mind and seem to be thrown in not to establish the mood of the movie and add the realism to that convoluted story, but purely because they had to throw in something that will lure audiences in. The most ridiculous moment appears right in the beginning, where the sword goes through pregnant woman's stomach, basically giving her c-section. Since the movie was shown in theatres in 3D I suspect there were some serious popcorn drops at that moment.

The one thing that I was looking for was the villain - not the main, stereotypical bland villain, but his daughter Marique, played by Rose McGowan, whom I was surprised to see in such movie. The character has wonderful make up and...that's it. McGowan is completely lost portraying Marique, often falling into unintentional parody and her attempts at being evil are quite laughable. I was hoping that at least she will give the main hero hell before she dies, but no. Her death is actually one of the worst parts of already bad movie.

Another woman in the story is of course a complete opposite - sweet virgin, who will be ravished by Conan later on in the movie. When Gemma Arterton plays character like that she manages to create something out of nothing, with her charm and talent. Rachel Nichols is neither attractive nor talented, so there you go. Her character fades out of memory even faster than the movie reaches it end. And get this - as with all the modern productions the obsession to bring in fantasy element continues - it would be a futile task to actually find a new blockbuster movie without it nowadays - Nichols's character's blood has magical properties and Marique and her father are looking for her. I just...don't know what to say.
Jason Mamoa of "Game of Thrones" fame plays ruthless savage guy again - in HBO series he managed to be quite charismatic, here his efforts are for most of the time successful, but because of the terrible script, his supposedly ruthless and violent character seems goofy at times. How can the writers allow such a thing in the movie called "Conan the Barbarian", I do not know.

The good thing is cinematography - now let me be clear - it's not anything memorable, but at least it's not as bad as everything else. The music might as well be non existent since I don't remember a single sound from the film. The supporting characters are basically puppets and one of them is played by Ron Perlman, who after reaching the peek of his career by playing a titular character in "Hellboy" apparently decided to move around bad and terrible films. Bad being this one, terrible being Uwe Boll's masterpiece of crap "In the name of the king.".

I just hope they won't do a sequel. With my masochistic cinematic tendencies I may have bad luck to watch it.

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