Saw this travesty last night at a special Cineworld preview. It’s been a long time since I considered walking out of a film and I was ready for this to be over about half way through.
Apparently Conan has only made $10m from it’s $90m budget on opening weekend in the States and I can certainly see why, though unlike some I don’t lay the blame at Jason Momoa’s (Conan) feet but rather director Marcus Nispel.
Every single scene that was supposed to herald a pay off was criminally underdeveloped and underwhelming. The plot of a boy who grows up to wreak vengeance on those who wronged him isn’t a new one and it’s hard to see how Nispel managed to mess it up so spectacularly.
Potential spoilers here: around 5 guys and the evil warlord kill Conan’s father when he’s a boy, Conan grows up and then goes on to kill them one by one to get closer to the warlord while along the way picking up a beautiful girl with a mysterious past.
Except every fight with these ‘generals’ was hugely disappointing and it wasn’t even particularly clear that some of the main fights were with these men who killed his father and not just another foot soldier. One of them was unceremoniously speared as an afterthought to another battle.
Going back to the actual direction, the battle scenes were distracting and the choice of cutting away to other scenes or juxtaposition of the action was poorly timed (though I appreciate some of that could be an editing issue), the dialog (while I never expeced it to be spectacular) somehow just scarcely managed to convey any sort of motivation, the 15 rating makes it a poor blend of sub-par violence and boobs with Jar Jar Binks style comedy relief, the fantasy world was poorly realised or explored… the list goes on.
Actually speaking of boobs, here’s a film saver…