Brian’s Review – “Conan The Barbarian”

Based on the pulp fiction of Robert E. Howard, this action-driven adventure breathes new life into the story of Conan the Barbarian, a warrior who rises to defend the people of Hyboria after evil forces slaughter his family and fellow villagers.


Rating 2 out of 10

There are a lot of different genres of movies: action, horror, drama, comedy, etc.  If I had to put Conan in a genre, it would be under “dumb.”  It’s the most prevailing character trait that permeates through its painful 115 minute running time that is loaded with action and couldn’t be more boring.  Conan is horrendously played by Jason Momoa whose previous credits include several Baywatch episodes.  Apparently, all director Marcus Nispel wanted was someone who looked like the comic book Conan character complete with the six pack abs and the brain of a flea.  Well, Momoa certainly fits the bill by grunting the majority of his dialogue and trying to act like he’s sexist when his facial expressions display a hesitation to the act.  It’s hard to cast someone in a role as an “actor” when the exact emotions you want them to convey aren’t even right.  Ron Pearlman, Stephen Lang, and Rose McGowan are talented actors but are utterly wasted here.  Rose is unrecognizable in a thousand pounds of bad makeup, Lang’s fake chompers are shown to great effect, and Pearlman was lucky he saved his outfit from the Beauty and the Beast TV series because it was used to great effect here.

The story…well..what story?  There’s a mask that will bring back the dead wife of the bad guy’s character and Conan wants to kill said bad guy because he murdered his father when he was a boy.  If that’s not two of the most clichéd plot points in action history I don’t know what is.  All of it is fused together with extreme violence to remind us that it is R-rated and for adults even though the script was probably written in crayon.  I would have given it a 1 if not for the technical team which does a decent enough job creating Conan’s world.  It’s too bad the writer and director didn’t do anything with it.

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