Conan the Barbarian

2.0 stars

Between the times when the Oceans drank Atlantis and the rise of the sons of Aries there was an age undreamed of after all the hype created by the media, virtual 3D posters, production photos, teasers, trailers, Restricted trailers, online forums, facebook debates hither came Conan!

The Plot (spoiler alert): The bad guys kills Conan’s father – Conan finds him and kills him.

The movie though violent, lacked a lot from the gritty backgrounds and costumes most of all. In the old Conan movies that’s what made the movies work, dirt, ugly/disgusting people, pelts instead of clothes, jewels and dead animals. In this movie everybody, Conan included, was well dressed, tattooed and the good guys were pretty and the bad guys ugly. I really loved the scene where Gozo’s “It-tieqa” (which seems to be the only locality chosen by foreign film makers) featured in the movie. Conan and his pretty, waxed and make-uped girl made love in a cave where accidentally straw was spread on the floor.

What about the main villain’s goal in the movie? He and his emo daughter looked for pieces of an enchanted mask their whole life and after finding it was not enough! They had to seek for blood of a girl who was a descendant of sorcerers. At this stage after a lifetime of sacrifices one pretends to rule the world with the power unleashed by the mask but NO he summons the ghost of his dead wife!

The effects overall were horrible CG effects where the audience could tell clearly were it was real and where not. One scene in particular was horrible, Conan’s assault on the ship. Is it so difficult today to build a ship replica and put it in front of the sea? Why has it all to be blue screen effects? What happens with all the budget movies get these days?

As for the main actor Jason Mamoa. There where numerous debates if he could fit Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sandals and unfortunately as huge as Mamoa can be, he is far from Arnold’s Conan. In fact Arnie was born for that part, he didn’t even need to act the part! I really respect Mamoa as an actor (who by the way was more Conan-ish in The Game of Thrones) BUT let’s face it which actor does come to your mind when you mention Conan? In fact the great mistake in doing this movie was doing a reboot, which these days seems like being in fashion.

In a nutshell, this movie was a miserable attempt to revamp the legend of the one true barbarian, Conan. All I can say is this, don’t mess around with legendary/cult movies because you will end up making a big flop or repeating the same story (case in point: Psycho).

Fabio Agius

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