Weekend Review – Conan The Barbarian (2011)

A while back we had a discussion thread for the re-boot of Conan The Barbarian. Well, now’s as good a time as any for a proper review of that movie.

Conan The Barbarian (2011)

Directed by Marcus Nispel
Written by Thomas Dean Donnely, Joshua Oppenheimer, and Sean Hood
Based on the character created by Robert E. Howard


Jason Momoa as Conan
Stephen Lang as Khalar Zym
Rachel Nichols as Tamara
Ron Perlman as Corin
Rose McGowan as Marique
Nonso Anozie as Artus
Said Taghmaoui as Ela-Shan
Leo Howard as Young Conan

Available from Amazon.com.

The Premise

Conan the Cimmurian must defeat the evil warlord Khalar Zym, who seeks to use the Mask of Acheron to resurrect his dead sorceress wife, and to rule the world.

The High Points

Jason Momoa is, frankly, a better Conan than Ah-nuld in every respect. His movements are more fluid in the fight scenes and his acting is stronger.

The Low Points

The use of CGI here is more than a little rough. There are several shots that are blatantly done for the 3D release. and the use of CG blood is more than a little iffy.

The Score

Originality: This isan adaptation & reboot, but one that tries to hew closer to Howard’s books then earlier films, though it doesn’t succeed. 3/6

Effects: The CG isn’t great, particularly the CG blood. The digital matte paintings are good though, and they give the film a scope that the 80’s film lacked. 3/6

Story: The film has one too many plots. The plots we get here never get enough time to be properly fleshed out. 3/6

Acting: For all the film’s faults, the movie has a lot of good actors. Momoa, as mentioned in the high point, is the best actor to play Conan thus far. Similarly, Ron Perlman is splendid as Conan’s father, and Nonso Anozie is great as Artus. 5/6.

Production: The music is, sadly, not as memorable as Basil Poledouris‘ (sp) score from the first film. Otherwise, the sets and locations are well chosen, and the mattes make the film seem bigger then what we see on screen. 4/6.

Emotional Response: The film, like Howard’s stories, lives or dies by rule of cool – not on characterization, or depth of plot. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, then you probably won’t enjoy this film. 4/6

Overall: I enjoyed this film about as much as the 1982 movie. 5/6

In total, Conan the Barbarian (2011) gets 27/42.

2 replies on “Weekend Review – Conan The Barbarian (2011)”

  1. The original Conan movie is extremely underrated, in my opinion. And Schwarzenegger, for all his flaws, fit the role perfectly. His supporting cast were all fantastic actors (Sandahl Bergman, Max von Sydow, not to mention James Earl Jones). Jason Momoa might be a better actor, but that didn’t make his character any less shallow.

    This version was just a terrible movie.

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