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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

[4.50/10] Conan The Barbarian (2011)


Conan The Barbarian (2011)

Brief review: For better or worse, the 2011 version of "Conan The Barbarian" has nothing to do with the films featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Back in 1982, the sword and sorcery fantasy film of the same name was sort of cheesy fun, while Marcus Nispel's version is a bit of a lackluster and just plain bad. The plot is almost non-existent, and the script is unimaginative and full of forced and silly dialogues, delivered stiffly and unnaturally by the actors involved. Speaking of acting, most the performances are mediocre are at best, and all the characters are unmemorable and badly-written. The talented Rose McGowan's delivers the only decent performance in the movie as the vicious and ruthless Marique. Jason Momoa is a real macho man and has the right look for Conan, but his acting abilities are not at all impressive. He looks good in Conan's costume and fights well, but the moment he starts to speak, he becomes wooden. At least visually "Conan" is rather satisfying. Shot in Bulgaria, the movie offers breathtaking scenery and some wonderfully-crafted sets. The CGIs range from great to passable, but the action scenes, while well-staged, are surprisingly unexciting, and anything but spectacular.

Overall summary: It's occasionally entertaining and the visuals are mostly fantastic, but "Conan The Barbarian" feels dated and hackneyed, and it suffers from a weak plot, mediocre acting, one-dimensional characters and overblown, if hardly thrilling, action scenes.

24 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I liked it more than that. It wasn't great but it was entertaining for at least one viewing.

Nebular said...

And I didn't. It looked good, but it just wasn't exciting.

venoms5 said...

Horrible movie when compared to the original, imo. Barely any natural locations as seemingly everything has been doctored up to look more than it really is; the pandora's box of CGI. I didn't hate the film, I just didn't see the point behind it outside of making money, which it failed to do.

The original was like a bloody, violent opera unfolding onscreen and this new one was the equivalent of eating a candy bar. It's a brief sugar rush to pass the time between meals.

Apparently the scriptwriters were eating a lot of candy bars as the storyline seemed to change on a whim. The whole major plot point of the mask is solved during the opening five minutes so then something else is thrown at the screen to make it to the end.

One of the main female co-stars is shown to be a fighting vixen, but seems to forget this ability for the rest of the movie.

All this evil power so lazily revealed to us by a tired Morgan Freeman (not a patch on Mako's memorable line reading) during the opening is never even seen, nor used. The main villain apparently forgets about this supreme god-like ability he is supposed to have and instead focuses on raising his witch wife back from the dead.

I did a comparison between the two some time back and it was difficult keeping up with all the inconsistencies this new version had floating around in it. I rarely ever use the word 'cheese' in reference to a movie, but CONAN 2011 was drenched in it. An utterly wasted opportunity for a popular character that deserves a lot better. Ditto for that horrendous CLASH OF THE TITANS remake. Now that one I hated.

Nebular said...

venoms5, thanks for the comment and the massive analysis. :)

The main problem I had with it was, that so many thing were happening on screen, and still I didn't feel any excitement whatsoever. It was pompous, yet dull.

I didn't hate CLASH OF THE TITANS that much. It had a couple of good moments, but it was overall disappointing. I still cannot believe how lame Medusa looked in the movie. I laughed so hard when she appeared on the screen. I was like WTF?

Maynard Morrissey said...

Send Marcus Nispel back home to Germany! He's an untalented idiot and all of his remakes are pointless crap.

venoms5 said...

I did a comparison for that one, too, and the Medusa sequence was what irritated me the most about the movie. They turned a suspenseful, horrific sequence into a a jokey video game. Like CONAN, nothing slows down to breathe. There's no sense of adventure. Pegasus just appears out of nowhere as opposed to Perseus have to go FIND him. Also, there's no real reason for Perseus to rescue Andromeda as the two don't even really know each other!

Thats the problem with these types of movies from New Hollywood, there's no sense of adventure. They get by on computer graphics and for some, that seems to be enough.

Kid Shuffle said...

yeah, this looked really bad. conan didn't even look like the biggest dude in the movie either...

Nebular said...

Maynard, if he doesn't want to go back to Germany, than we'll kidnap him and send him back to his country. LOL.

Nebular said...

venoms5, you described the Medusa sequence perfectly. What they did with her was a complete and utter joke.

"There's no sense of adventure" - That's sad actually. Very, very sad.

venoms5 said...

I shockingly enjoyed his TCM remake. I was really surprised by it. Then the trailer for PATHFINDER surfaced at the theater and it looked amazing! Then years went by and nothing. I bought the DVD and wondered just what in the hell went wrong with it. Ditto for the others he's done. In their defense, some of these films (TITANS included) had major studio interference for whatever reason, so seeing what the director intended in some cases, isn't able to be fairly judged.

Nebular said...

Kid Shuffle, the actual movie is worse than it looked on the trailer.

You're right, Conan is big, but definitely not the biggest one there. :)

Nebular said...

venoms5, I also liked the TCM remake a lot more than I thought I would.

Pathfinder was one of the dullest movies I've seen in my life, and yet, it looked amazing. To me, it feel like Nispel doesn't really care about how his films tun out, nor he learns from his mistakes.

Maynard Morrissey said...

well said, George :)

remember that search keyword "what the fuck is wrong with german people"... :-D

Nebular said...

Maynard, LOL.

Maybe the guy that was seeking for the answer of that question, had just finished watching Nispel's "Conan". LOL.

Melissa Bradley said...

Since it was shot in Bulgaria, I'll watch it anyway and Momoa is a bit wooden, sure, but I like him from Stargate: Atlantis. I'm a huge Rose McGowan fan, as well, and willingly watch anything she's in good or very, very bad. LOL

Love the review. You're always honest and talk about things that not many other reviewers notice. Hugs, sweetie. :)

Nebular said...

Mel, watch it for Momoa and the scenery then. :) Momoa was well-cast for the role, but his lack of acting experience is pretty obvious. Rose i brilliant, I love her too, especially in "Planet Terror".

Thanks, hon. Yep, I'm quite observant, but i can't help it. LOL.
Big hugs from me too. :)

Nicole✗✗ said...

I haven't seen the original but after reading your lovely review I feel like it wouldn't matter anyhow. I think I will pass on this one even though I love Rose McGowan. It's too bad the acting was below par with the exception of McGowan.

James Brown said...

You had to know what you were going into when you purchased a ticket for Conan. Don't expect spectacular performances. Just expect a lot of action and a lot of blood. For me, it was decent and worth watching once. Check out my thoughts on it at Sobriety Test Movie Reviews at www.sobrietytestmoviereviews.com

Nebular said...

Nicole, I expected it to be at least cheesy fun, but as Brian mentioned above, there was no sense of adventure. Rose was great as usual, but she couldn't save the movie for being the mess that it was.

Nebular said...

James, thankfully I didn't pay a thing to see this one. Yes, I didn't expect amazing performances, but the acting was even below my expectations. Thanks for the comment.

Ty said...

Good review! Saw this in 2-D, it was just ok. Could have been better.

Also about the nomination badge:

here is my email: Tarbosh777@yahoo.com

Nebular said...

Ty, I didn't see it in 3D either, that's why I didn't comment on the 3D effects. It was mediocre IMO.

I thought you have your e-mail on your profile? Thanks, I'll send it to the host of the awards.

Ty said...

Thanks!

Nebular said...

Ty, you're welcome.