Wednesday, August 24, 2011

MY THOUGHTS: CONAN THE BARBARIAN

Worse movie I have seen this year.

The storytelling is pathetic. This is the part that infuriates me to no end. The storytelling should be the strongest aspect of any Conan movie. Robert E. Howard has left a legacy of Conan stories to adapt or collage for an on-screen effort. The writing is as bad as I have ever seen for a major motion picture.

The directing and editing is on an amateur level. I’m not even going to waste my time with dozens of examples I could cite for this.

The acting is atrocious—from top to bottom. The performances never gave me an opportunity to suspend disbelief, as I always felt I was watching actors, not characters. Atrocious.

Hollywood was attempting to make a movie about a well-rounded barbarian character (which is what Conan is) without giving us a well-rounded barbarian character. Instead, Hollywood tried to make a sexy barbarian character with more hair product than my wife uses outside of the Hyborian Age.

Jason Momoa looks like a teenage (or just out of his teenage years) Conan in this movie. It’s as though this is the beginning tales of the Cimmerian before he becomes a bigger, stronger character that I read and loved my entire life. I mean bigger and stronger in two ways: as a character (internally) as well as physically (externally). Now, don’t get me wrong, I was not a fan of the Schwartzenegger portrayals, nor was I a fan of his physical size for the part.

The effects—other than most of the CGI monsters—were laughable. Some of the characters had snow white, perfectly straight teeth. I mean teeth that were such obvious modern veneers that is was as distracting as if they were wearing Rolex watches. But, then other characters—the catapulted Remo, for instance—had obvious (decay appearing) dentures that nearly fell out of his mouth when he spoke. I thought (at one point) it was part of the story, watching for wooden dentures to fall out of his mouth for some other pointless reason.

The blood spray, spatter, and splatter effects are unnatural with goops and gobs, and look as though they were made from corn syrup and food coloring. When the child Conan drives a stake into one enemy’s foot, it looks as though the victim has a balloon filled with a half-gallon of red Kool-Aid for a foot when the watered down red stuff sloshes from the wound.

In my opinion this movie lacks heart. It lacks myth. It lacks character.

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