Thursday, December 01, 2011
Fantasy Movies Are Supposed To Be Bad, continued.
Last night we watched Conan, the Barbarian the 2011 release of the tale. This was definitely a King Kong of a fantasy flik for me. It worked for me as a mixture as a rambling sword and sorcery tale coupled with the latest Hollywood motifs and hooks. Worked into the motion picture was a smattering of allusions from the Robert E. Howard fiction. It was kind of weird to hear "Venarium" coming from the latest sword-wielding Hawaiian to make the silver screen in a groin cloth, as well as be treated to Harry Potter childhood scenes with gratuitous decapitations.
The decapitations were right up there with the obligatory Ron Perlman appearance in any fantasy film with a budget larger than a lunch at Hardees. And I can't say that he did all that bad, considering his role as a Barbarian chieftain was probably written by a guy who just scripted a 3-D Lassie remake due out next Arbor Day or some such. The villains were kewl. Stephen Lang and Rose McGowan were great as the cruel necromancer, Khalar Zym, and his witch daughter, Marique.
The rest of the movie had the look of what one comes to expect from Hyboria these days, ever since that music video in the big, bad 1980s. Ruins and statues every ten steps. People dragging stuff over harsh terrain and being whipped for unexplained reasons. What was new was the film-makers' take on getting some explosions into the "epic." Not a lot of money on special effects for sorcery, but cabbage and orange-filled wagons waiting for boulders to be rolled into them. Heck, we all know Robert E. Howard's works are "low fantasy" anyway.
Not a bad fantasy flik at all.