A remake of the Arnie original, Conan the Barbarian starts off promising but loses momentum becoming dull and dreary.
This action adventure starts favourably as we see the young Conan fighting against a bunch of savages in a well choreographed fight seen before seeing him growing up into a Robin Hood-esque figure with a small army in tow. These early scenes have the same tongue in cheek attitude which made the original so enjoyable, but this is soon lost. All of Conan’s allies mysteriously disappear and all the well choreographed fight scenes dry up. Instead Conan is forced into scenarios where he has to conquer much duller foe such as sand people and an unseen sea creature. The plot also becomes a tedious game of cat and mouse as Conan slowly pursues his enemies whose motives are ridiculous.
Perhaps the most irritating fault with Conan is how dark it is. Not dark as in gritty, but how near impossible it is to make anything out. The 3D also doesn’t do the visual style any favours, being reminiscent of the clunky 3D in Clash of the Titans.
Despite not bettering Swarzenegger’s performance, Momoa is perfectly cast in the role and has a strong physical presence. Also compelling was Rose McGowan’s evil witch, who sadly isn’t onscreen as much as she should have be. Both actors hammed it up for the roles which suited Conan’s over-the-top tone.
Conan the Barbarian certainly has its faults, and what could’ve been a fun nod to the 80s classic spirals off into utter nonsense. Anybody would be better off seeking out the original.