Guest / Limited Access /
Conan the Barbarian
Our Rating
2½ Stars - Fair
Average Rating
 
(16 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
R (for strong bloody violence, some sexuality and nudity)
Genre
Directed By
Marcus Nispel
Run Time
1 hour 53 minutes
Cast
Jason Momoa, Stephen Lang, Rachel Nichols, Ron Perlman
Theatre Release
August 19, 2011 by Lionsgate

In a scene leading up to Conan the Barbarian's big bloody finale, the epic warrior's love interest poses a seemingly vital question. Amid all the death and destruction surrounding her, she asks Conan: "Are we all just doomed to chaos and ruin?" After a brief pause, the barbarian shrugs off her question and shares his true feelings: "I live. I slay. I love. I am content." These words, instilled with all the ridiculousness of a typical B movie, sum up the spirit of Conan quite well. The film is dumb, hackneyed and, well, just plain bad—much like the 1982 original, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger—but because it knows and makes fun of that, it plays for a smart and entertaining ride.

Directed by Marcus Nispel, who up to this point hasn't made anything good, Conan is a stereotypical guy's movie with all the typical testosterone—sex, violence, vengeance. The plot follows the strapping Conan, played to perfection by Jason Momoa, on a quest to avenge his father's death. At the beginning of the film, a ruthless warlord (Stephen Lang in another over-the-top role), alongside his henchmen and sorcerer daughter (Rose McGowan), murders the beastly leader right in front of his young son, and the experience provokes Conan to spend the rest of his life hunting down the wicked villain.

This dimwitted revenge story doesn't drive the film. Instead, it's a mere plot device for 112 minutes of blood, guts and action—and a cheesy, slow-motion sex scene. Of course, with an opening sequence that shows the graphic birth of Conan on a blood-spattered battlefield and a title that invokes the image of one famous Austrian actor sporting stallion-like hair and a leather girdle, it's unreasonable to expect anything more. Nispel, in ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueThe Title IX Lives of Christian Colleges
Subscriber Access Only
The Title IX Lives of Christian Colleges
Why CCCU schools are split on claiming one of their legal rights.
Current IssueCrossing the Wasteland of Faith
Subscriber Access Only
Crossing the Wasteland of Faith
Years after my dramatic, unlikely conversion, it seemed God had gone silent.
RecommendedHacksaw Ridge: The Bloody, True Story of Faith in Action
Hacksaw Ridge: The Bloody, True Story of Faith in Action
Mel Gibson’s new film raises questions about religious liberty and moral conviction amidst national turmoil.
TrendingWhy Do We Have Christmas Trees?
Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?
The history behind evergreens, ornaments, and holiday gift giving.
Editor's PickThe Bible Never Says ‘All Men Are Created Equal’
The Bible Never Says ‘All Men Are Created Equal’
How the New Testament offers a better, higher calling than the Declaration of Independence.
Christianity Today
Conan the Barbarian
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

August 2011

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.