Conan the Barbarian - Movie Review

A young boy (Leo Howard) born of blood and war is left the last surviving member of his tribe when the ambitious and evil Khalar Zym (Stephen Lang) murders his father and slaughters his village during Zym's quest to bring back together the shards of a powerful supernatural mask. Years later, the boy grows up to be Conan the Barbarian (Jason Momoa) traveling around the world with a quest of revenge. Zym and his daughter Marique (Rose McGowan) has amassed an army and having put back the mask, all they need is the blood of the "Pure one", Tamara (Rachel Nichols). Conan rescues Tamara and now he must prevent Zym and Marique from using her to bring back a powerful sorcerer while still avenging his father's death.

The story dedicates a fair amount of time to Conan's childhood and the lessons he learns from his father. Morgan Freeman is also heard explaining the history of the magical mask and how the shards became separated. It really sets the tone for the rest of the movie because as a boy, Conan, without any apparent training, is able to defeat and decapitate a mob of wild men. This is a very bloody movie.

There is a LOT of blood and gore shown. The violence is so graphic that it is definitely not for the faint of heart. There is also nudity and a lengthy sex scene. Apparently "I live. I love. I slay. I am content." is a great pick-up line. Boys, maybe try it out some time. I bet girls will be jumping into bed with you because that is what Tamara does. Conan and Tamara had very little chemistry and their relationship was not very developed at all. She just all of a sudden, jumped into bed with Conan. Magic words, I guess. 

A lot of the things in the movie seem very absurd. Rocks only fall on the bad people and monsters that wait for you to finished attacking your opponent before attacking you, for instance. The fight scenes were ok. They started to bore me after a while though because it is basically the same thing. Conan grunts a lot, moves about and defeats his at a time.

I haven't seen the original so I can't really compare Momoa's Conan to Schwarzenegger's. All I can say is he is a man of few words. He goes from charismatic and joking to a brute and unrefined in a heartbeat. As for the other characters, Marique is so creepy, you feel uncomfortable whenever she's on screen. It could be her creepy face or the dismal performance McGowan gave. I think all the actors could have done a better job. The script could have been better too. Could some explain what Conan learned about his sword in the end? I don't get it.

As for the 3D experience, save your money and just watch it in regular theatres if you can. Besides the opening and closing credits, I didn't notice any 3D at all. The CG was not a lot better than normal television. There was tentacle monster looked completely fake. The landscapes were awesome though.

Conan the Barabarian was a disappointment but mindless fun especially if you are in the mood for revenge and action. It is in theatres today Friday, August 19th, 2011.

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