Thursday, September 01, 2011

Two Hours of My Life Wasted

Well, I have just walked in the door from viewing Conan the Barbarian. In a word? Awful. I hated it. I almost got up and walked out twice. Not surprisingly, it was a private showing. I was literally the only person in the theater. Everyone else was smarter than me and stayed home. Word of mouth is killing this movie, but not fast enough.
Badly written, cliched summer blockbuster plot made up of bits of other movies and some simpleton's idea of what comprises sword & sorcery. The dialog often didn't make sense. The film was badly edited. Most of the acting was horrendously bad. Look at it this way. Any movie where the best performance is Rose McGowan is a bad thing. The sets looked like leftovers from a bad viking movie. Someone should call Hercules The Legendary Journeys and tell them they can have their costumes back.
The only bright spots I can think of were a couple of the action sequences and Jason Momoa. Jason looked good as Conan. He spat his lines well enough. Given a decent script and a real director he would be okay. But seriously folks, I would rather watch the Arnold movie, and you know what I think of the Arnold movie. It was that bad. Even if I'd never heard of Robert E. Howard, I would consider this one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Save your money. Don't go.


Paul R. McNamee said...

Yup, it's like that.

Actually, I was pretty kind to it on my blog. The more I think about it, the less I like it.

As a writing exercise, though, I did pick up the novelization to see if Stackpole manages to make a coherent - if generic and unHowardian - novel out of the mess.

Anonymous said...

After waiting almost thirty years to see Conan back on the big screen, I was so struck down by this film I found it almost impossible to say what I wanted to say in any of the fiery conversations about the film going on all over the net.

I spat out a couple remarks, and then any time I tried to join in I found this creeping lassitude coming over me. Seemed so pointless.
Hadn't REH fandom spent the last three decades talking about what would make a good Conan movie? Hadn't the Cimmerian's latest owners sworn up and down we were going to get a good one?

It wasn't that the film wasn't REH. I expected that.
It was that the film was such an addled, disconnected mess. Seriously. Fucking Deathstalker 3 has a more cohesive and consistent story.
If they never make another Conan film, I won't complain.

John Hocking

Mikeyboy said...

As dismal as this film did was at the box office...I do want to see another. Because I think there is still hope.

Brian Murphy said...

You know what? I don't think I'm going to see this in the theater. As a Conan fan (and also in order to review it for my blog) I felt an obligation, but the reviews are so uniformly bad. Yours cements it for me.

Taranaich said...

It wasn't that the film wasn't REH. I expected that.
It was that the film was such an addled, disconnected mess.

That's exactly my opinion. I had come to terms with this film not being Howardian. I had even expected it was going to be a bad film. But fercromsake there's a limit between "bad but enjoyable" and "unspeakably awful."

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Yes, I was having a hard time explaining to my brother just how truly bad the film was. Words failed me.

Lanny said...

I liked the part with the kid! That young actor has now been Snake Eyes (sort of) AND Conan (um... sort of)!

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Didn't realize that was the same kid from G.I. Joe. He may have a future as an action hero.