Directed by Marcus Nispel. Starring Jason Momoa, Rachel Nichols, Ron Perlman, Stephen Lang, Rose McGowan.
Why do you remember Conan the Barbarian? Because of Arnold Schwarzenegger, that’s why. Why won’t you remember Conan the Barbarian 3-D? Because it’s a C-grade remake with decent CGI, horrible acting and an ear splitting background score. And because it doesn’t have Arnie.
In one of the scenes in this film towards the end, the filmmakers show Conan holding on to a chain with one hand. On the other end of the chain dangles his love Tamara (Nichols). And he’s having trouble pulling her up. Would that have happened to Arnie? I think not.
How can anyone presume to fill the Terminator’s humungous shoes? My fellow critics argue that Arnie wasn’t an actor. Perhaps not an actor like Robert DeNiro or Tom Hanks. But he was an icon. He was the original action hero. Arnuhld defined an era. Nearly two decades of films. The Terminator films, well the first two. The Running Man, Predator, True Lies, Commando, Total Recall. He fit these roles perfectly. But he didn’t stop at action. He took on comedy too and excelled at it. He is a star and an actor in every sense. Fellow Indian critics, do your homework.
Jason Mamoa (Baywatch) has a good body but in front of Arnold, he looks as thin as a sword’s blade. I believe physicality plays a big part in getting a character to look the part. Which is why I hated Chris Hemsworth as Thor. Not imposing or beefy enough. Where’s the credibility? It’s like giving us a short Superman!
Conan’s parents are slain by the evil Khalar Zym (Lang) and the brave young warrior grows up playing saviour to enslaved villages until he sets on the trail of his parents’ murderer and his evil cronies who are hell bent on reassembling the pieces of an ancient mask of sorcery with intentions of ruling the world.
Jason just isn’t believable. He talks tough (almost too I’m-a-straight-jock-dude), handles the action sequences pretty slickly but he totally lacks personality. He looks like Chris Angel (Mind Freak) and mumbles through some of his dialogue. He can’t be doing that. He’s Conan. The Barbarian. Not the awkward Gentleman!
Sure there’s lots of gushing blood and some decent action sequences but there’s also lots of ham acting and poor writing. The music in the original 1982 film was epic. It’s still considered a masterpiece by critics. The score in this remake is so atrociously loud you’ll feel like barbarians have taken a sword and run it through your ear canal straight into your cerebellum. Not fun at all.
Rose McGowan as Zym’s sorceress daughter with the steel claws is the only performance that rings true but then she’s used to playing supernatural (TVs Charmed and several horror/thriller films). Morgan Freeman as the narrator is utterly wasted and sounds bored.