Conan is not exactly a difficult movie to make. In fact, I think it would be safe to say that its the easiest movie for directors to make. Seriously, find a muscular man, give him a sword and tell him to swing a sword in front of the camera. It’s not like the dude has to portray emotions or get the audience to feel sympathy. It’s not Hamlet, or Richard the Third, or Superman or anything like that. It’s Conan.
The story is about as simple as you can get. Boy grows up to be a killer by his father, Ron Perlman, village gets burned, daddy dies, and boy grows into Conan, played by Jason Momoa, who now goes on an Inigo Montoya style revenge quest on the overlord that killed his father. The bad guy, played by Stephen Lang, collects the fifth piece of a collector’s mask, but can’t activate it to get God like powers without a specific woman’s blood, because that’s how the bloody thing works, of course. Enter the “chosen one” female monk, played by Rachel Nichols, who is essentially the damsel in distress, even though she can kick pretty much the same amount of ass as our hero. Now she has to be protected by the big brute like an escort mission in a Fantasy MMO, then predictably turns into a rescue mission and it’s up to our brave protagonist to save her and the world from the previously mentioned baddie and his psychotic witch daughter, played by Rose McGowan, who wins the MVP award for the best performance than anyone else in the movie.
When it comes to the action scenes, it’s nothing I haven’t seen before. There wasn’t anything that seemed original or innovative, but I do have to admit its still enjoyable to a degree. There were fighting scenes where you feel you got the point, and you want the film to move on, but it still had a fun factor to it.
The really annoying part of the action sequences are the camera and the editing. That’s right, the film uses Shakey Cam and quick edits, the most irritating inventions in all movies over the last number of years. Everything gets so blurry, jerky and out of focus that you can’t see what’s going on, or who’s winning the fight. It makes it really hard to know how our hero is progressing when you can’t see what he’s hitting or what the grunts are doing in retaliation. Being a fan of sword fights in films, though, I have to say that at least the movie has that going for it. The villain has a really sweet sword that’s two blades with one detachable handle, and it really looks like he knows how to kill with it. I just wish I can see him inflict massive damage with it, but with the said camera issues, the excitement lessens. They really need to stop that process. I want to see what’s going on in the movie.
The visuals are pretty good, and the soundtrack gets you in the proper mood, but as a whole the movie becomes forgettable and dull. Momoa looks beefed up for the part, and it’s really interesting to cast someone that doesn’t look like a bodybuilder, but he doesn’t add anything to the lore. His hair out like that and covering his face sometimes makes him look like Antonio Bandaras. Perlman didn’t have a big part, and all the other actors are shoved to the side, not making them all that memorable. I have to admit, I had my fun watching it, and it was entertaining to say the least, but it’s not like I will be rushing to see the movie again. You get some good scenes along the way, but nothing that makes you rush out to recommend to others. The movie is not bad, but it just wasn’t better than the 1982 Schwarzenegger classic, but at least it was way better than the 1984 sequel Conan The Destroyer. If you like a little mindless fun, it’s a safe movie to go see, but the key word being SAFE. Director Marcus Nispel does nothing groundbreaking with this movie, and it’s a shame, because it could be a start of a series that could be huge. It still can be, but you need to do more than just a simple story and Shakey Cam. Tread lightly, if you do go to see it, but if you wish to wait to see it cheaper, I would suggest it.