Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars
This modernized and cinematographic version of “Conan the Barbarian” is beautiful, colorful and more dramatic in contrast than it’s earlier predecessor. The character Conan is given a stronger personality, and the supporting cast stands out much better than they did in original movie. The story line is strong in action, adventure, fantasy and has terrific dramatic scenery. While the movie converted to 3D in post production, it was still well done and really draws you in to the story.
Jason Mamoa is brilliant as a stoic and yet charming version of Conan. My first impression was of slight disappointment, having viewed Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan; a silent, intimidating and deadly barbarian. Then I had to remind myself that Schwarzenegger probably only lacked speaking lines due to his limited English at the time. He was also hired for the part because they wanted Mr. Universe to play the role of Conan. In this updated rendition, Conan is suave and plays both comic and sexy well. He is able to make his cave-man treatment towards the beautiful monastery maiden Tamara, our token barbarian love interest.
Ron Perlman, plays Corin, Conan’s father and also the leader of the Cimmerians. This role might have been type-cast, but as usual he portrayed the strong Barbarian leader with strength and presence, even though his part was short. Rose McGowan, as the evil witch daughter Marique, doesn’t stand out much when it comes to the strength of character in terms of acting. I felt that the actress who played the younger witch daughter was more convincing. Marique’s costumes though were fantastically dramatic in concept and line. As much as I assume they want you to hate her, I didn’t really find myself hating her so much as feeling rather nonplussed. Stephen Lang does his job well as the main baddie Khalar Zym. Lang is also rather type-cast, however he still manages to take a character and make it an antagonist you like to hate.
The movie definitely has replay value and I look forward to hopefully seeing an extended cut on Blu-ray. The music wasn’t that memorable but it think it did a good job complimenting the movie. Overall the movie was beautiful, strong and memorable, and I think Jason Mamoa did an exceptional job filling some pretty big shoes. He met and exceeded my expectations and I look forward to any possible sequel that may come about.