Conan: The Barbarian (2011), a Mr. E Movie Review

When I heard they were remaking this iconic film I was apprehensive. The one thing that I thought they had going for them was the new Conan himself, Jason Momoa. I mean this guy has the size and the look but does he have any barbarian in him?

The short answer is no.

While looks might mean a lot to Hollywood and their posters and there trailers they need to take some tips from Broadway and insist that they’re talent is talented as well.

But I don’t necessarily blame Momoa for this because we all know he can play barbarian just watch any episode of the hit Game of Thrones and you’ll see why they hired this rising star.

Perhaps the problem lies in the films director. I mean Marcus Nispel built his name up as a music video director whose biggest films were remakes of both Friday the 13th and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Two films where the mammoth leads were mute throughout. With Jason Momoa as Conan his dialog and delivery where nowhere near the dialect from which he supposedly came and instead sounded like the everyday American ranting shirtless and carrying a sword.

So much was going wrong I almost had to start taking notes right in the middle of the theatre.

First the acting was so bad that I couldn’t help but to start listing reasons while I was suppose to be enjoying the film. I thought the actors are just not into it but that’s the directors job to get that out of them. Then I thought no it has to be the writers fault because this dialog is horrible and so not taking me into what’s suppose to be barbaric times. Then finally do you want to know the straw that broke the camels back? Rose McGowan.

Rose’s body language and the delivery of her lines where so…I don’t know…off timed, fake feeling, amateurish. I know she’s been around and can play a great mean girl but in this fantasy role she brought everything else around her down quite a few notches. That wasn’t helped by the poor CGI either especially the city the at the end. It didn’t leave a very professional impression at all.

There were two redeeming elements to this film and they are Ron Perlman and Stephen Lang. Even though Ron had a horribly envisioned moment at the beginning of the film where he lifts the newly “battle born” Conan to the sky like some version of a war ravished Mufasa and lets out the worse roar ever he still played a great role. Same thing goes for Lang who is most known for his role in Avatar as well as the upcoming TV series Terra Nova who basically plays the same role in all three but really has got the whole bad ass tough guy down to a science.

I am sorry Marcus, Jason, Rose, and the Conan franchise as it stands today but I feel this whole thing might’ve worked if it was let say, Sinbad and the Barbarian Warriors or something instead.

But it’s not, so…

Barbarically written, barbarically directed, and barbarically acted so of course I have to say Conan: The Barbarian is a horribly barbaric film (and not in a good way) that should’ve went straight to DVD.

I’m giving it one star just for the sheer amount of blood shed.

“…and remember 3-parts popcorn to 2-parts chocolate washed down with 1-part cold beverage. Mmm. See you at the movies!” – Mr. E