I vaguely remember some scenes from the original Conan the Barbarian, starring Arnold. The unremarkable remake will likely not leave a memorable impression.
Set in a mythic world, Conan bursts into the world on the battlefield as his mother lay dying. Corin, his father and chief of the barbarian village, played Ron Perlman, rears young Conan, which proves difficult due to his willful nature. The village is attacked by the forces of Khalar Zym, who is searching for an artifact which can revive his dead wife and conquer the land. Conan’s father whole part of the artifact, and he is left to watch as his father and village are slain.
Cut to twenty years later, and Conan, now played by Jason Momoa, is still hunting for his father’s killers. Along the way he meets a girl who conquers his heart, etc. The same uninspired fantasy story you heard time and time again.
While passable in the title role, Momoa does not compare well to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Conan from 1982. As Conan’s father, Ron Perlman looks out of place when cast in a fantasy setting. I did not recognize Stephen Lang (Avatar, TV’s Terra Nova) in the role of Conan’s nemesis Khalar Zym, and Rose McGowan went a bit overboard with her protrayal of Zym’s wicked daughter Marique. Rachel Nichols, Bob Sapp, and Nonso Anozie round out the cast. Morgan Freeman was wasted as an unseen narrator.
Gore and digitally-enhanced blood abound in Conan the Barbarian. The film underwent 3D conversion post production, which did not help it at the box office as the 3D backlash was in full swing at its release. Although it bombed in the theaters, there are rumors of a sequel, with Momoa possibly taking a stab at writing. Let’s hope he can keep up awake next time around.