Friday 2 September 2011

Better Luck Next Time, Conan.

Conan the Barbarian.

I was left with an intense desire to stick the Milius version on when I got home.

However, Jason Mamoa is actually pretty good as Conan; his enthusiasm is there to see on screen and is backed up with his own recent comments on the character and his desire to actually write a Conan screenplay himself. He could surpass Arnie with the character if they made another one.

Contrary to early fanboy fears, it is pretty damn violent and is actually quite mental in that sense.

But how can a film so frenetic and willfully gleeful in its comic violence be so damn dull? With each loud bang or musical cue signifying anything happening onscreen, I actually felt like I was being lulled to sleep. Some of the violence is pretty damn funny and there are some standout moments but these are diluted by the sheer dipshit direction and writing on display.

Completely formulaic and predicable with some supporting characters and sidekicks who appear and disappear at will, not doing very much, just serving the odd purpose and leaving. Little in the way of character arcs for anyone and an inexplicable and frankly inappropriate narration from Morgan Freeman. Even the Milius version, as nuts as it is, had Conan on a decent character journey, experiencing loss, punishment for folly and emerging maybe slightly different at the end. Slightly.

I'm just glad I didn't see it in 3D but I felt the film was relying on that too much, given the narrative standards on display in the 2D version I saw.

Better luck next time. Shit film but I wouldn't mind seeing Mamoa as Conan again so long as the film is made by other people who give a shit about proper movies.

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