Friday, August 19, 2011


Conan the Barbarian

Conan the Barbarian Even you have not seen a 1982 film staring ex-Governor of California, you probably heard about a fictional fantasy character named "Conan the Barbarian." This heroic character has been featured in comic books, televisions, and even video games. The newest addition featuring this celebrated figure is a 3D action film "Conan the Barbarian" (USA 2011 | 112 min.), which is not a remake of the identically titled 1982 film. Unfortunately, instead of bringing new dimension to this fantasy hero, the film makes the character as flat as the image on a cover of a paperback romance novel.

Set in a fictional Hyborian Age, the film opens with a barbaric C-section during a battle, and Conan (Leo Howard) is born. When Conan is a teenager, the evil Khalar Zym (Stephen Lang) and his witch daughter Marique (Rose McGowan) destroy Conan's village and kill Conan's father (Ron Perlman).

After Conan (Jason Momoa) grows up, he hunts down Khalar Zym and Marique to revenge. During his quest, he meets beautiful Tamara (Rachel Nichols) who has the pure blood that Khalar Zym and Marique are looking for.


There, the film has gathered all the necessary ingredients for a cheap routine stir-fry: gruesome violence, pretty woman, horrific monster, and a spectacular fantasy world made by CGI. The fire is on, and the cooking begins. The mindless actions are non-stop and there are plenty rolling heads. However, Conan and his newly met woman Tamara are like two hot chili in the wok—they can overwhelm every counterpart and maintain their presence. They are unbeatable for some unknown reasons.

Perhaps taking the cue from the famous Fabio, Conan almost always bares his chest and let his long hair flow with the wind. Although, I do think Conan's darker hair color looks better than Fabio's blond. Of course, Conan must be given a chance to bare more than his chest in the film as well.

The film is laughable, but not because it is funny. Its characters are so simple and one-dimensional. No matter how I tilt my 3D glasses, I am unable to lift Fabio, I mean Conan, off the screen. Conan keeps posing his fabulous looks to make covers for a romance novel like Fabio. Well, what can we expect? He is a Barbarian.

"Conan the Barbarian," a Lionsgate and Millennium Films release, opens on Friday, August 19, 2011 at Bay Area theaters.

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