Conan The Barbarian Review – Mountains Of Cock

Conan The Barbarian (15)

Release date: Friday 26 August

Cast: Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones, Stargate:Atlantis), Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Alien: Resurrection) Stephen Lang (Avatar, The Men Who Stare At Goats)

Director: Marcus Nispel (Pathfinder, Friday the 13th (2009) )

Screenwriter Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer (Sahara), Sean Hood (Halloween: Resurrection, Cube 2)

Running Time: 113 mins

A director yet to touch an original piece of material. A star yet to earn his big screen stripes. Writers famous for films with colons in their titles (the punctuation kind). The remake of Conan The Barbarian was never going to be jaw-droppingly brilliant. Even with the lowest of expectations how Conan manages to be as dung ridden as it is, is a testament to the ‘never say why’ attitude of people in L.A. land with far too much cash and far too few thoughts.

Conan

Your average episode of the CBBC show Horrible Histories has more to offer in terms of acting, script and spectacle. It’s one saving grace is it offers at least as many Stupid Deaths as the aforementioned kids programme.

Born of battle, Conan enters the world after his mum gets stabbed in the stomach during a ruckus. So far, so Great Yarmouth-based episode of Jeremy Kyle. Without a ma, Conan – or Conin as everybody decides to call him, presumably because Americans might mistake him for Conan O’Brien – is raised by Daddy Barbarian (Ron Perlman) until he too is slewn/slewned/slained/slain by evil baddy ‘That guy from Avatar‘. Cue quest for revenge.

From the moment Ron Perlman lifts a freshly C-Sectioned baby aloft as if he’s bench pressing a 300lb infant, the movie has squarely marked it’s box as ‘silly’. If ‘silly’ was how the makers intended to play the film then we all might have had some fun. Sadly, ‘boring’, was the adjective interpreted by the cast and crew instead. For what reason? Well so the audience could play the game of “How can we make the next, seemingly inevitable, remake of Conan (sorry Conin) tolerable?”.

Here’s some ideas…

Recast with spirit
The new Conin is rubbish. He’s a pretty boy Conin. A Conin that tells his daddy he loves him. Nowhere near the freak of nature that Schwarzenegger was, instead he’s an androgynous (is that eyeliner?), pouting, long haired girly man. But, Game of Thrones was certainly the place to look. Instead of Jason Momoa though, the makers should have risked it for a custard cream and chosen Peter Dinklage. Mini Conin! People would pay great money to see that. Also cast Ron Jeremy in place of Ron Perlman. Give Hellboy a break from this tat, Jeremy is used to being around mountains of cock.

Everlasting voiceover
Did you know Morgan Freeman narrates Conan (sorry, Conin)? He bloody does. Either that or the guy from the MoreThan adverts is really beginning to take the piss. Sadly Red and Reds star Freeman only gets to bookend the film, telling the gumf laden tale of a special enchanted mask or something. For the next film we propose that the entire film is narrated – audio description style – with Morgan telling us exactly what’s happening as we watch. Again, good money will be turned over to hear the Miss Daisy Driver intone, “The large man with girly eyes picked up the metal chain and knocked the horse out cold. He didn’t know it at the time but he really sparked that donkey flat out.”

Camp. Ahhhh!
Everybody love homoeroticism. So give the folks what they want. Less of this carrying an attractive lass around with you for half the flick. Make it an oiled up, strapping young lad with whom Conin doesn’t really care for but secretly wants to jump. Load the fucker with more sexual tension than a virginal elastic band. Camp up the soundtrack too. Get Brian Wilson and the Boys to update Barbara Ann for the theme tune.

Call Him by his proper name.
He’s Conan. Not Conin. Not Colin. Not Connar. Conan.

Verdict
Every time a ‘pre-sold’ movie dies on its arse, an angel gets its wings. Do not weep for the lack of spectacle, lacklustre box office and overall sense of unaccomplishment that has greeted this latest Reboot/Remake/Regurgetation. Its failure is the only way Hollywood will learn.