Though it’s colour palette is impressive, it’s effects well-done and the story engaging enough, Marcus Nispel’s take on Robert E.Howard’s “Conan the Barbarian” is no match for the Arnold Schwarzenegger version from ’82.
Jason Momoa tries hard as the young slave turned savior (”if danger is near, Conan is here!”) and there’s fun supporting turns from the likes of Ron Perlman, Rose McGowan (as a witch), foxy Rachel Nichols (phwoar!) and the always dependable Stephen Lang, but unlike the original film, Nispel’s movie hasn’t got a lot else going for it but pecs, pyrotechnics and pretty faces. And judging by the film’s poor performance at the box office earlier this year, audiences wanted more from their swords n’ sandals movie.
More epic, engrossing and charged with a more commanding lead (though big Arnie didn’t speak much), John Milius’s version of the slave-man cum warrior yarn remains the reigning king of the “Barbarian” flicks. You’ll find it on DVD… for about ten bucks less than the remake.
Blu-ray details and Extras :
The DVD/Blu-ray combo-pack features the standard 2D version of the film, plus, for those lucky enough to own a 3D TV and 3D Blu-ray player, a copy of the film in 3D (not that the 3D added anything to the movie).
The documentaries on the Blu-ray are more interesting than the film itself; one tackles the back story of the character, and his history, while filling us in on Howard, the man who created him; another tells of the character’s evolution from Weird Tales magazine to…. well, the star of a flop movie.