Ryan Wilson

Conan the Barbarian (2011) – Review

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If you’re a regular moviegoer, you should know by now that if you’re looking for the movies that will stick around for years to come, you should avoid the summer lineup. Will Conan the Barbarian continue the unimpressive Summer trend?

Sadly yes.

While the 1982 Arnold Schwarzenegger film was by no means a brilliant film, it’s excellent art direction and camera work more than made up for its extreme campiness and drastic departure from Robert E. Howard vision of the character. While Jason Momoa’s portrayal of the barbarian is less of a dumb brute than Arnie’s portrayal, he’s still far from the honorable, brilliant tactician that Howard made him out to be. At first, I believed that tactician part of Conan was going to come out, as we see him surveying a slave camp to free its captives.

…then they pushed rocks off a cliff straight at the camp, nothing but self-attentiveness prevented the slaves from being crushed by the rapidly tumbling boulders. Short attention span much, Conan?

Speaking of short attention span, the movie editors must have suffered from that same illness. Like its predecessor, the art direction is absolutely stunning…if the camera could stay in one place for more than 3 seconds. For a nearly 2 hour movie (and a 3D one at that!), the mental whiplash is practically headache inducing. Location changes happen at breakneck speeds, only warning us with a brief subtitle telling the viewer where the hell they are now.


All bitching aside, the movie is good dumb action. Gorehounds will find themselves incredibly satisfied, as every injury and death is like crushing a juicy tomato at high speed. Jason Momoa gives off a much more believable performance than Arnie ever did (I actually believed that Momoa knew how to use a sword) and most of the supporting cast worked incredibly well with the characters that were thrust upon them. It’s just a shame how mediocre this movie really was.

Worth it in 3D?: NO! If you must see this movie, save your money and watch it in 2D. The minimal usage of the 3D medium (except for a single cliche “sword coming right at you”, the 3D was used sparingly for scene depth) is not worth the eye strain

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