Conan the Barbarian review

September 8, 2011

Here’re two things to remember going into this review of Conan The Barbarian. Firstly, the 1982 interpretation of this tits and violence fantasy franchise starring Arnold Schwarzenegger is not actually very good. The tit to violence ratio might be pubescent boy bait, but in the almost 30 years since its release it has become quite the turkey. The second thing to remember is that this 2011 imagining of Conan the Barbarian, also called Conan the Barbarian, is not based on the first movie but on the original Ron E. Howard source material. So it’s not a remake.


Now I’m mildly ashamed to admit that I quite enjoyed Conan the Barbarian. It is not a very good film, but it is sourced from trashy tales aimed to amuse and astound rather than begging for analysis. Conan’s character is actually far more barbaric as portrayed by Jason Momoa and there is none of the campiness you might associate with this particular genre. After being ripped untimely from his mother’s womb as she dies on the battlefield, Conan grows into a foe-decaptitating teenager and finally a rapey-pillagey young adult who stumbles around looking for a fight or a fuck. This leads him into a face-off against an evil warlord bloke who killed his dad and all that, but you get the feeling that this Conan would have brought down an empire regardless of past grievances.


It is unusual to find a hero with so few redeeming qualities in Hollywood. He does seem to win the affections of a pure priestess who falls under his care but he ends up nobbing her and sloping off into the sunset, so his masculinity is the real winner.


Conan the Barbarian is basically a fairly truthful adaptation which slots neatly into a neglected genre. It doesn’t look like it’s going to make any money at the box office, suggesting that it’s actually a genre neglected for a reason. But if you like lots of violence against real humans, not shoddy CGI monsters, then perhaps this film is for you. Oh and don’t go and see it in 3D because it’s one of those post-production conversion jobs, which gives it about as much depth as a urinal.


2 Responses to “Conan the Barbarian review”

  1. CMrok93 Says:

    The film is dumb, hackneyed and, well, just plain bad – much like the 1982 original – but because it knows and makes fun of that, it plays for a smart and entertaining ride. Good Review!

  2. Joe West Says:

    Cheers! Had a look at yours and see that you came to the same conclusions 😉

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