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Conan (2011)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Marcus Nispel

Starring:
Jason Momoa/Conan
Stephen Lang/Khalar
Rachel Nichols/Tamara
Rose McGowan/Marique
8 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Born during a vicious battle and then robbed of his father; king shit Conan (Momoa) has a chip on his shoulder and violence coursing through his veins and he will stop at nothing to avenge his pops death. My kind of dude!
THE LOWDOWN
NOTE: I can't bring myself to call this movie CONAN THE BARBARIAN; as there is only one of those and it was directed by John Milius in 1982 and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. So for me this movie is simply called CONAN.

As you can read HERE and HERE in my in depth two part “love letter” to Conan; I am a big fan of the character; having followed him throughout the years via the Arnold Schwarzenegger films (Conan the Barbarian is still one of my favorite films of all time), the TV show, the comic books, the cartoon; shit even through the XBOX 360 video-game (which I still play to this day, I aint done yet). I am right now finally delving into Robert E Howard’s original stories via the collection “The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian”… a long overdue read I know... I did it all upside down... better late than never. Now to say that my hopes for this update to be any damn good were low would be an understatement. The trailers did jack and shit for me, Momoa looked too soft to be Conan and the whole 3D angle put me off…cause the last thing I think of when I hear the name Conan is freaking 3D. So I rode on into this screening eager for the best, fearing the worst and came out of there with a big smile carved on my bruised and blood stained face. Yup, I was wrong about this new Conan…dead wrong.

The moment I witnessed Conan’s birth (talk about a ballsy and unique scene) I knew I was in good hands. This flick proudly stated with that bit: "I got a big pair and here they are…recognize bitch". I actually kept waiting for the movie to drop the ball, for the pace to slow down, for the cheesy scenes to kick in, for it to trip over its own feet or for it to pussy out; never happened. This badass celluloid killer kept swinging till the bitter end. Awesome! At the end of the neck snap; ask yourself this question: "Do I enjoy seeing brutal and plasma heavy violence splashing the screen non-stop for nearly two hours?" If your answer is yes, then let Conan be your pimp, he’ll hook your ass up with love you long time! Once the set up established in a grisly fashion; the bulk of the flick was all about following Conan around as he f*cked people up. If like me, that means high entertainment to you, you’re all good. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a film be so relentless with its action and violence and for that I raise my Ale to thee! I was giggling like a legal of age school girl getting drilled in the yapper throughout this watch; marveling at the ample gore, getting off on the well staged and totally INSANE fight choreography, wowing at the jaw dropping settings and blowing loads over Nispel’s kinetic visual style.

The same went for the performances, wow, was everybody into it or what? Talk about an enthusiastic group of actors who went all out for the cause! Leo Howard was astounding as Young Conan, selling the character early on and Stephen Lang relished in his role of the evil Khalar. Moreover, Rachel Nichols put out an endearing mix of wholesomeness, vulnerability, sensuality and take charge, Ron Perlman made his small role count with his intense show while Rose McGowan (aided by her freaky makeup/get-up) chewed the scenery fervently as the oddball, sexy yet frightening Marique. With that; the film belonged to Conan and Jason Momoa uppercut an upset my way by nailing the part. Dude wielded that sword(s) like a freaking champ, aced the stunt work (which he pretty much did all himself… no doubles here), but more importantly, he channeled the Conan found in the comic books, giving us a hard man, but one with a heart and that felt at home within the dire situations that he was in. Momoa had a razor glimmer in his eye, moved like a panther and sometimes sported an elated smirk during his many fight scenes; Conan loves this shit and Momoa perfectly conveyed that. It was also swell to see that they didn’t PC the character up for today’s more “safe” (and boring) times. Conan was all man’s man. He was a Mack, he was sexist, brash and rude but yet the mofo was always charming and likable none the less. NOTE: My only complaint about Momoa; dude needed another 5 pounds of muscle on him, but hey that’s just my opinion and last I checked it aint worth Dick Tracy.

Any complaints? A few but nothing major. I wish Nispel would have stuck to the grim mood he had displayed in PATHFINDER for this one. The movie was a bit too bright for my liking, specially when taking into account that we’re dealing with Conan over here. Furthermore, the thing was maybe too tight for its own good. Don’t get me wrong; I can watch a buff dude slash peeps into Kibbles and Sluts for hours on end; but it would’ve been nice if the action would have taken a pee break sometimes to explore the depth that comes with the Conan character and his plight. Moreover; one action scene having to do with a giant creature kind of left me cold in its staging and editing; there was so much more to do with a sequence like that, but it kind of came and went. And was I alone in thinking that Tyler Bates score was a tad underwhelming? I mean for a movie like this, you need music that will rouse ya, music that will want to make ya stand up in that theater and start beating people up. Didn’t happen here, it was serviceable. Where’s Basil Poledouris when you need him?! Finally; the CG effects weren’t always tops. Sometimes I was wowed and other times the CG was too obvious (like some of the blood). No biggie though. NOTE: The (post conversion) 3D was fairly useless here, even when shit was flying at the screen, it wouldn’t fly OUT the screen, so save your dough and see it in 2D.

All in all; I am f*cking IN as to this reintroduction to Conan becoming a franchise. With that; carrying a budget of 80 to 100 million bucks on its shoulders and a hard R; I fear that the flick will flop. I mean is there still an audience for testosterone fueled, gleefully violent and un-PC films such as this f*cko? I know I’m there for them, but am I alone? The Box Office returns will tell. You in the mood for an action packed, violent and loving it, uber engaging ride? Hop on that horse with Conan; mothef*cker will give you the guided tour. LONG LIVE CROM!

NOTE 2: How does it compare to John Milius 1982 CONAN THE BARBARIAN? It doesn't. They are two very different films. Both are badass for their own reasons and both rock in their own rights!
GORE
Conan aint playing here; the flick was all about chopped off limbs, severed heads, stabbings, disfigurations and big red splashes of blood flying in slow motion. Conan be angry, which made me happy! F*ck yeah!
T & A
Conan digs on the ladies! We get all kinds of tit shots, shite even Rachel Nichols gave up the "so fine" goods here. UPDATE: Those boobies were not hers; they used a boob double. BOOOO! The ladies get Momoa shirtless for the bulk of the running time and he put out a butt shot that put Mel Gibson to shame. Everybody’s happy!!
BOTTOM LINE
What can I say other than... I LOVED IT! Conan is now one of my favorite summer movies of the year and it will most likely make my Top of 2011. Who knew?! Action driven, oozing of testosterone, sporting a F-U attitude and a unapologetic violent streak that resulted in stand out action scenes. On top of that the gore was plentiful and Jason Momoa owned all as he echoed the Conan found in the comics (which I am devouring now of late). Yup! This new Conan had me by the throat! Not a movie for pussies! Granted some of the CGI was so-so, I hoped its cinematography would have been darker, the score was "okay"and more depth would have been appreciated; but on the whole; this was the most fun I’ve had this summer at the movies! It was lean, mean, brutal and goretastic! If that’s your bag, get in that theater and support it! Just remember to not waste your coin on that shitty post conversion 3D…not worth it. LONG LIVE CROM and LONG LIVE CONAN! I want more! Bring it or die at the end of my blade!
BULL'S EYE
In the film Conan lets out this gem of a line: : “I live... I love... I slay... I am content".” Here’s the unedited version of it, straight from Howard's mouth:

"Let me live deep while I live; let me know the rich juices of red meat and stinging wine on my palate, the hot embrace of white arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content. Let teachers and priests and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content."

Momoa beat Kellan Lutz for the role. Thank fucking Crom!

The great Dolph Lundgren was a up for a role at a certain point; it didn't happen. Bummer...
Strikeback
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12:35AM on 11/27/2011
Btw, in case you didn't know it, Basil Poledouris passed away 5 years ago.
Btw, in case you didn't know it, Basil Poledouris passed away 5 years ago.
Your Reply:



12:31AM on 11/27/2011
Crap! There's an edit button. No need for double posts. By Crom!
Crap! There's an edit button. No need for double posts. By Crom!
Your Reply:



12:29AM on 11/27/2011
Too bad about the body double because Rachel Nicols is hot. All I could think was, "Conan better get himself a piece of that," and he did. Go Conan! The movie itself was fun. It won't gain the nostalgia factor that the original 1981 movie did which is unfortunate because I think it is a better movie with Jason Momoa's Conan being much closer to the literary creation. As for the title, I think "Conan the Cimmerian" would have been better.
Too bad about the body double because Rachel Nicols is hot. All I could think was, "Conan better get himself a piece of that," and he did. Go Conan! The movie itself was fun. It won't gain the nostalgia factor that the original 1981 movie did which is unfortunate because I think it is a better movie with Jason Momoa's Conan being much closer to the literary creation. As for the title, I think "Conan the Cimmerian" would have been better.
Your Reply:



12:28AM on 11/27/2011
Too bad about the body double because Rachel Nicols is hot. All I kind think was, "Conan better get himself a piece of that," and he did. Go Conan! The movie itself was fun. It won't gain the nostalgia factor that the original 1981 movie did which is unfortunate because I think it is a better movie with Jason Momoa's Conan being much closer to the literary creation. As for the title, I think "Conan the Cimmerian" would have been better.
Too bad about the body double because Rachel Nicols is hot. All I kind think was, "Conan better get himself a piece of that," and he did. Go Conan! The movie itself was fun. It won't gain the nostalgia factor that the original 1981 movie did which is unfortunate because I think it is a better movie with Jason Momoa's Conan being much closer to the literary creation. As for the title, I think "Conan the Cimmerian" would have been better.
Your Reply:



11:15PM on 08/24/2011
I had no desire to see this movie and other critics panned it but this review changed my mind and I am so glad that I saw it. It was entertaining as F-ck! Bloody, T&A (most of it did nothing for me but hey, Conan looked hot!) and action, action, action. Right from the opening moment, this film had a 'hit the ground running' vibe and it made it all the more enjoyable for me. I really dug it (though the water serpent battle left me a little underwhelmed, but that's small scale in comparison to
I had no desire to see this movie and other critics panned it but this review changed my mind and I am so glad that I saw it. It was entertaining as F-ck! Bloody, T&A (most of it did nothing for me but hey, Conan looked hot!) and action, action, action. Right from the opening moment, this film had a 'hit the ground running' vibe and it made it all the more enjoyable for me. I really dug it (though the water serpent battle left me a little underwhelmed, but that's small scale in comparison to all the fun I had watching this kick-ass number!).
Your Reply:



10:53AM on 08/21/2011
saw this friday, this review is spot on. if you have read Robert E. Howard then you will enjoy this movie. it has more in common with the original stories than the 1981 film
saw this friday, this review is spot on. if you have read Robert E. Howard then you will enjoy this movie. it has more in common with the original stories than the 1981 film
Your Reply:



3:05PM on 08/19/2011
No classic like Arnie's but it was a fun, bloody good popcorn flick. Momoa actually wasn't bad and the film on a whole was better then the trailers led one to believe. Wasn't the best film I saw this summer but, I had a good time.
No classic like Arnie's but it was a fun, bloody good popcorn flick. Momoa actually wasn't bad and the film on a whole was better then the trailers led one to believe. Wasn't the best film I saw this summer but, I had a good time.
Your Reply:



12:37PM on 08/19/2011
I've been a big supporter of this film since I heard Mamoa was playing the title role and to see this review from this man is a confirmation that my support was not in vain.
I've been a big supporter of this film since I heard Mamoa was playing the title role and to see this review from this man is a confirmation that my support was not in vain.
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7:42AM on 08/18/2011

LOL!

Well said viperidae99!
Well said viperidae99!
Your Reply:



1:51AM on 08/18/2011

Wicked!

I had no intention of seeing this, let alone in cinemas. Arrow's review has changed my mind. And Arrow, it better be as awesome as you claim or..."to hell with you!" ;)
I had no intention of seeing this, let alone in cinemas. Arrow's review has changed my mind. And Arrow, it better be as awesome as you claim or..."to hell with you!" ;)
Your Reply:



9:24AM on 08/17/2011

Blood lustin'

Thanks for the review and I'm buying my ticket right now. With ya on Arnie's 82' master peice and diein' to catch this one now.
Thanks for the review and I'm buying my ticket right now. With ya on Arnie's 82' master peice and diein' to catch this one now.
Your Reply:



8:47AM on 08/17/2011
Good review, sir. Only hit bits and pieces and got a great idea of whether I'd like it or not, and I'm now looking forward to it. Also, yeah: fuck Kellan Lutz.
Good review, sir. Only hit bits and pieces and got a great idea of whether I'd like it or not, and I'm now looking forward to it. Also, yeah: fuck Kellan Lutz.
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1:00AM on 08/17/2011

Awesome!

What i want to hear...I hope your don't lead me astray on this one Arrow!!
What i want to hear...I hope your don't lead me astray on this one Arrow!!
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+0
12:58AM on 08/17/2011
It was closer to Howard's version of Conan, and more violent, and more boobies than Ahnuld's versions. But the dialog was soooo cheesy and bad, and not in the so bad it's good way either. Plot was simple by the numbers. McGowan ate up scenery with gusto, and Momoa...well, a shit-ton of acting lessons couldn't hurt him to get closer to Ahnuld's early acting chops. All in all, one of those movies where you leave your brain at the door. Don't go for the 3D unless you like excessive shaky-cam in 3D.
It was closer to Howard's version of Conan, and more violent, and more boobies than Ahnuld's versions. But the dialog was soooo cheesy and bad, and not in the so bad it's good way either. Plot was simple by the numbers. McGowan ate up scenery with gusto, and Momoa...well, a shit-ton of acting lessons couldn't hurt him to get closer to Ahnuld's early acting chops. All in all, one of those movies where you leave your brain at the door. Don't go for the 3D unless you like excessive shaky-cam in 3D.
Your Reply:



11:55PM on 08/16/2011
Sean Hood sends his love

[link]entry189817
Sean Hood sends his love

[link]entry189817
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11:10PM on 08/16/2011
caught this tonight, agree 100% with this review. It delivered the goods.
caught this tonight, agree 100% with this review. It delivered the goods.
Your Reply:



10:39PM on 08/16/2011

@ dkev

I hear it helps to see the film to be able to judge it...tentpole my ass, this flick was better than half the shit that came out this summer...maybe they just kept the best for last...
I hear it helps to see the film to be able to judge it...tentpole my ass, this flick was better than half the shit that came out this summer...maybe they just kept the best for last...
Your Reply:



+0
10:21PM on 08/16/2011

Meh

They waited till the end of summer to release it because it couldn't compete with the tent poles. This is a Redbox.
They waited till the end of summer to release it because it couldn't compete with the tent poles. This is a Redbox.
Your Reply:



+0
8:33PM on 08/16/2011
I am totally going to revel in this. But only if I find a 2D showing.
I am totally going to revel in this. But only if I find a 2D showing.
Your Reply:



7:58PM on 08/16/2011

Conan Screenwriter

By Crom...I'm sending this review to my mom.
By Crom...I'm sending this review to my mom.
Your Reply:



7:31PM on 08/16/2011

Great Review, Arrow.

Very much looking forward to finally checking this flick out.
Very much looking forward to finally checking this flick out.
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