Conan the Barbarian
At one point during Conan the Barbarian, Conan proclaims; “I live, I love, I slay, and I am content.” Sadly however, Conan never seems to live, at least not on any emotional level, and it’s this that is one of Conan the Barbarian’s main failings – there is just no soul to this film, and the viewer is left far from content.
Conan the Barbarian starts off with Morgan Freeman – who should have known better – narrating a totally unnecessary back-story that makes the whole affair sound like a piss-poor rip off of Lord of the Rings, and ends in predictable style 2 hours later, that in some bewitching tear in time and space feels like you’ve just endured a four hour mini-series.
Conan the Barbarian is almost like Lionsgate got together a group of pre-pubescent boys, feed them chocolate and coke, told them that their parents would never know, and then asked them what they would like to see in the new Conan the Barbarian film. But rather that got for the most popular ideas, Lionsgate decided that they could just string together every single idea and somehow make it into a cohesive story-line.
Throw in some over the top gore, try too hard that the humour evaporates with the sexist one-liners and make sure there’s a little bit of nudity and sex. That sounds like a recipe for success, right?
For all it’s short comings, Conan the Barbarian could have been a half decent romp, if only Lionsgate hadn’t insisted on including every scene ever shot making it to the final cut. Loose the beginning, trim the fat, and bring the film back to the mid eighty minute length and I reckon you’d have a fun hack n slash fantasy action, even with the two dimensional acting.
Not even the visual quality of BluRay or listening to the film in surround sound through my QuietPoint active noise canceling headphones could help raise Conan the Barbarian above mediocre.
And this for a film that I had low expectations coming into.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read