Rating * 1/2
In 1982, it was "Conan" that gave the world of cinema its most muscular and beefy star in Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was also one of the simplest action films ever - it relied on visuals rather than dialogues, to tell its story. As has been the trend lately, an unimaginatively bankrupt Hollywood is rehashing its biggest hits, with disastrous consequences.
In a mythical land, after his family is butchered by a mysterious warlord, a barbarian warrior Conan (Jason Momoa) sets out to seek revenge.
This film tries to go one up on the original, attempting to build a story and explain a lot of things that were left for the viewers to understand in the original. Instead of helping the story, it actually kills a semblance of one.
Compared to the original, the film has much more elaborate sets, better production value, better special effects and detailed action sequences. Sadly, mere make up does not make a film. It needs a soul, which is completely missing from this one.
The film tries to make up for it with gory violence. But the senselessness of it all actually puts one off.
If nothing, the original "Conan - The Barbarian" was a lesson in simplicity. With very few dialogues, no needless explanations, a gentle, even pace which is rare for modern action films, it gave you time to warm up to it. In comparison, this one is in such a hurry that it seems to be all over the place.
In the original "Conan", the film was carried forward by operatic music rather than dialogues and the focus was on actor`s physicality rather than their acting ability (a perfect setting for Arnold).
These factors hid Arnold`s inability to act and gave the film that rode on the visible strength in his muscles, a mythical proportion, which was only loosely based on the original stories of Conan.
The makers of the 2011 version, seems to have forgotten these simple facts. One glimpse into their Wikipedia page of the original film would have helped them immensely in making this new one.
In action films, the less said the better. Surprisingly, modern action filmmakers and writers of action genre have regressed from that cardinal rule. To understand how, watch the original version of "Conan", and the 2011 version.
This film went through a decade of production hell before being made. Perhaps it would have been better if it indeed had never been made.