Conan the Barbarian – Dru’s Review
Plot? Who needs one of those?! It really isn’t necessary when your leading man is a savage, arrogant, shirtless warrior that treats women like garbage. Somehow with this one, I didn’t really care, cuz did I mention he’s shirtless? There have been a spattering of reviews of this movie that compare the new and improved Conan to a frat boy – proving that fraternities are as uncivilized as, well, barbarians. That observation couldn’t be more accurate as adult Conan tosses back a few cold ones, objectifies women, starts bar fights, and high-fives his buddies all in one sitting. But I do seem to be getting ahead of myself, so let’s start at the beginning.
This movie is awesome in the most horrifying ways. For instance, we start out with the bad-guy back-story. It’s filled with blood sacrifices, enslavement, evil masks (no, not the one featuring Jim Carrey), and ambitious dreams of world domination. In the next instant, we see the fetal Conan “born of blood” as his very pregnant mother is stabbed in the midst of a battle. After being violently ripped from mom’s womb in the open battlefield by the jack-of-all-trades/barbarian-dad Ron Pearlman, Conan experiences a Lion King moment as dad hoists him in the air, letting out a cry of triumph/pain/despair (?) as the battle continues to rage on in every corner of the screen. Meanwhile, the bad guy is vanquished, the evil mask is split into pieces, and life goes on. Clichéd? Undeniably. Cheesy and embarrassing? Naturally. Horrifying and ridiculous? Unquestionably. Utterly awesome and hilarious? You betchya!
We move onto an exceedingly brief glimpse of Conan’s upbringing. One instant Conan is a premie, the next he’s a 12-year old punk looking to join the tough-guy warrior gang that’s trained by none other than his dear old dad. After passing the test that others much older than he is failed, and bringing back some decapitated heads formerly owned by henchmen of the new bad guy, Conan gets a valuable life/sword lesson from the soon-to-be-dead dad. In the next 15 minutes, Conan sees his village burn, the bad guy get away with the reassembled evil mask, and his father die. Cue the vengeful promises and time-travel to the now shirtless playboy centerfold we will enjoy for the remainder of the film.
Conan isn’t what you would call a “deep” character; in fact, he’s the complete opposite and precisely what I mentioned earlier – Conan is a frat boy. He may give freedom to a couple random slaves and kill the occasional bad guy here and there, but when it all comes down to it, he’s just another gym-buff with a penchant for a good lay and lager. In the end, Conan manages to defeat his enemies, save the world, avenge his father, and copulate with the woman he cares for too much to stick around afterward.
The special effects were pretty mediocre, the plot was nonexistent, the acting was adequate, and the sex scene was awkward. You pretty much get what you paid for with this one. It’s not a good movie, but it’s not a bad movie either. Still, it’s an awesome movie being that it’s just one giant cliché. What makes it worth checking out on the big screen? Jason Momoa – shirtless. The end.