Get unlimited digital access to baltimoresun.com. $0.99 for 4 weeks.

'Conan the Barbarian' review: Muscles! Swords! Grunting!

0.5 stars (out of four)

I guess when you’re born in the middle of a battle (prompting your dad to lift you to the heavens and scream), your chances of growing up to be, I don’t know, a florist are slim. Nevertheless, Conan (Jason Momoa) develops into quite the bloodthirsty maniac when he grows up to seek revenge against the brute (Stephen Lang of “Avatar”) who killed his father (Ron Perlman). Conan’s other agenda: Boycotting shirts.

Worth noting: At least in 1982’s overlong, kinda entertaining take on the legendary character, Arnold Schwarzenegger looked like a super-sized human tank motivated to grow into a fighter after a scrawny youth. The new Conan is just a generic buff dude with an ’80s hair metal ’do and disturbingly vicious battle skills that kick in before puberty. His speech patterns also vary between “sentences” like “Woman! Come here!” and “I know not; I care not,” unintentionally suggesting a flicker of a poet within the soul of a guy who as a child cuts someone’s nose off. (The victim’s accidentally hilarious reaction, in case anyone missed what happened, is shouting, “My nose!”)

The verdict: The script for “Conan the Barbarian” must have had a lot of exclamation points, broken up only by scene descriptions such as, “Conan yells and stabs. Body count: Every extra that's available.” Conan has impressively perfect aim when firing a person in a catapult but is barely more likable than the so-called bad guys. The incoherent film's sickening brutality occasionally takes a break so someone can thrust his sword to the sky and shriek. Sadly Morgan Freeman, who I-kid-you-not narrates the film’s opening, doesn’t get to join in.

Did you know? Conan rescues a group of slaves largely comprising beautiful women with their considerable beasts exposed, and almost immediately they become the dancing, smiling entertainment at the party that follows the battle. This is a long way of explaining why seven different actresses are credited as “Topless wench,” not, “Exhausted, traumatized slave.”

Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Fridays at 7 a.m. on WCIU, the U

mpais@tribune.com

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Shrug-worthy new movies
    Shrug-worthy new movies

    'The Wedding Ringer,' 'Spare Parts,' 'Leviathan,' 'The Interview,' 'Big Eyes,' 'Unbroken,' 'Annie,' 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,' 'Top Five,' 'The Imitation Game,' 'The Two Faces of January,' 'The Tale of the Princess Kaguya,' 'Horrible Bosses 2,' 'Happy Valley,' 'The...

  • Good movies to rent now
    Good movies to rent now

    See what recent DVD releases are worth your time and money. Don't rent? Check out the newest movies to stream here. Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page. 

  • Hot Hollywood interviews
    Hot Hollywood interviews

    The most memorable quotes from our latest movie Q&As, including Sienna Miller, Emily Ratajkowski, David Oyelowo/Ava DuVernay, Eddie Redmayne, Jon Stewart/Maziar Bahari, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jason Schwartzman, J.K. Simmons, Damien Chazelle, Ger Duany/Emmanuel Jal, Jocelyn DeBoer/Ingrid Haas,...

  • Worst new movies
    Worst new movies

    The recent awfulness we've seen, like 'Blackhat,' 'Predestination,' 'Into the Woods,' 'Exodus: Gods and Kings,' 'America the Beautiful 3,' 'Dumb and Dumber To,' 'The Better Angels,' 'Interstellar,' 'Laggies,' 'Low Down,' 'Ouija,' '23 Blast,' 'Stonehearst Asylum,' 'The Best of Me,' 'The...

  • Best new movies
    Best new movies

    Reviews of recent favorites like 4-star 'A Most Violent Year,' 'American Sniper,' 'Paddington,' 'Two Days, One Night,' 'Still Alice,' 'Selma,' 'Inherent Vice,' 'The Gambler,' 'Mr. Turner,' 'The Babadook,' 'Wild,' 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay--Part 1,' 'Foxcatcher,' 'Food Chains,' 'Force...

  • Forecasters looking ahead to next snow chances
    Forecasters looking ahead to next snow chances

    After coming short of initial predictions for substantial snowfall Monday and Tuesday, meteorologists are looking ahead to a couple of chances for wintry precipitation over the next several days as an active weather pattern continues.

  • Under Armour may offer new uniforms to city police
    Under Armour may offer new uniforms to city police

    Baltimore-based Under Armour has already taken on the world of sports apparel. Could police gear be next?

  • Maryland sees four year increase in graduation rate
    Maryland sees four year increase in graduation rate

    Maryland's high school graduation rate increased for the fourth year in a row, with just over 86 percent of high school students earning their diploma on time this past school year.

Comments
Loading