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Why I'm Not Sure If I Loved Conan Or Not

It's too cold lately to be SIFWIWing, so I'm scouring other venues for something exciting to do. We rented a couple of movies Friday night, so I thought I could talk about a movie instead, as I sometimes do. We got Crazy, Stupid Love (B+), Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (A++) and Conan the Barbarian (A-/B+?)

I wish I had gotten Crazy, Stupid Love from Redbox, to be honest. It was okay (you'd think I'd be a little more enthusiastic about a romance movie, right?) but I don't know if it was $2.75 good. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil had me laughing so hard I was crying and couldn't breathe. Husband and I agreed that we need to own that movie. Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised that Conan offered us a hairy Ron Perlman. Love me some Ron Perlman. I mean, classic 1987 Beauty and the Beast on TV, what's not to love?

So Conan. With voice-over by Morgan Freeman, I mean, how cool is that? I had trouble getting my mind around the time period. Where were the ancient civilizations that I knew? Um, according to Wikipedia, they weren't "known" at the time. Well, that explains that. I used to be all up in ancient history's face. Now I'm a little rusty.

Hmm, Jason Momoa. I think he only has three expressions: smoldering, angry and angry-smoldering. "Smoldering" in this instance, can also be used as "I'm-coming-to-kill-you cocky".

I also want to mention that the bad guy, called Khalar Zym here, is one hard mother to kill! He wouldn't die in Avatar and he just wouldn't die in Conan.

It started out well. Who doesn't love a c-section on the battlefield and a puppet-baby? They didn't even try. You could so tell it was a puppet. I mean, why not just use a loaf of bread if you aren't even going to try and convince the audience that it's a real baby? But the opening scenes with Mr. Freeman's narrative and Ron cutting his puppet-baby from his dying warrior wife's stomach weren't too bad. I even enjoyed the scenes where the guys from Last of the Mohicans (editor's note: they probably actually had a tribal or clan name, but they looked like Mohicans, k?) snuck out of the woods and Conan proceeded to behead all of them without breaking the egg he had tucked away in his mouth. Badass.

It was the part where Zym came into the picture that things started going downhill for me. The creepy daughter, Marique was perfectly creepy, but guy hunting bones to make a mask and bring back his dead, evil sorceress wife didn't impress me. Let's jump to twenty years later. Pirating, sexing up the captives he frees, and wandering around trying to find Zym (really? How can you not know where this guy is for twenty years? Did you not escape after they burned your village down? Follow them, maybe? Kill them all in the dead of night? Plot hole, anyone?) pretty much sums up Conan's life. At this point, I was literally saying, dude, put on a shirt! How is running around half-naked helping anyone?

Some monk chick, called Tamara asks the head monk-guy about her future. He tells her a man is coming for her and she's all oooo, a knight. And he's going, erm, no, not quite. She's like, what else? And he's like, excuse me, I'm late for my colonoscopy. So Zym and Marique end up finding out where this pureblood monk chick is and come for her to bring their creepy mask-thing to full power. Conan is busy letting slaves disembowel their evil master and learns where Zym is. And they're off. Some chasing and fighting and Conan takes Tamara as his captive. She's pretty biting with the dialogue while he's stoic, which is usually okay by me in a male character. They didn't seem to have very good chemistry. She obviously had some kind of education and he was the kill it-kill it-kill it type of savage.

And there was more fighting, once with some cool sand-men and then when some guys attacked the pirate ship, but it was the sex scene that really got me. Don't get me wrong, it was a very passionate sex scene, but it felt a little forced. One of the things romance writers will notice about publisher requests: no sex for the sake of having sex. I feel like the script writer just tossed it in there to keep the men watching between fight scenes. As many boobs appeared in this movie anyway, I'm not sure what the big deal was with shoving a sex scene in there and the after scene where we got a long look at Conan's butt. That was a muscular butt. Wow. I seriously think he could kill a grown man with those muscles.

Enter some more fighting, a bad guy that just. Won't. Die. Some witch possession and... well, I can't tell you the end. Things got kind of fuzzy for me anyway because it was late and I had a headache. At one point I wasn't even sure who was the bad guy and who was the good guy. The one thing I can say in favor of Conan is this: unlike Clash of the Titans, this movie wasn't plot-driven. I actually cared what the characters were doing and they seemed human. You can't fault Conan for wanting revenge. I'm not sure why Tamara became a monk to begin with, that was a plot hole too, but I'm sure it was a good reason.

So, I think I liked it, minus the end and the part where Ron Perlman dies and the puppet-baby. Oh, and there was a giant squid or something when they were all breaking into Zym's castle. Giant squid/kracken/sea monster is overdone. There is no topping POTC on kracken, 'k? Unless it's a steampunk kracken and then we'll talk.

Comments

  1. I'm so glad you do these movie reviews. That way I don't have to waste my time watching them. ;-)

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