Editor emailed to watch Conan. Conan turned out to be so bad I created a review with bold lists. Remembered college professor telling me lists are boring. Made cup of tea. Cup of tea said go for it. Review follows.
On the first mistake Conan the Barbarian makes
The first mistake Conan the Barbarian makes is that they did not allow me to watch Conan as Arnold Schwarzenegger. They say Jason Momoa is Conan because Arnold is really old in the real world, but this is not good enough. In the real world we have things like bills and Bills to worry about, and in the movie world Arnold is no longer Conan. Anyway. As it is, I had to make do with Jason Momoa.
He is not a bad Conan. He makes suitable menacing, vicious and lusty faces throughout the film to qualify as a barbarian. He is also bigger and bulkier than a Hyundai Santro, and can swing a heavy sword like heavy-set people who swing swords. What?
On the fantasy of Conan the Barbarian
The dangerous, barbaric world of Conan is pleasant enough as it turns out. There are ostensibly some magical elements that they make with some naked chicks claiming they are witches, but it feels no more menacing, magical, barbaric than Chor Bazaar in Old Delhi. It's just a mass of people.
There are matte paintings masquerading as real places, with no depth, no vision, no real allure. It's all just something to place our characters in. The film tries to create a world of swords and snakes fantasy, but it never invests in anything that might help us get a sense of pace. It tries to create a Pirates Of The Caribbean like cast of misfit characters, but with no defining trait, no real charisma, and an utter lack of cool moments - they just come off as a mass of people we don't care about.
On the implementation of 3D which adds nothing and has made this world of ours a poorer place to live in
Swords, t**s, things poking people. Conan is in love with things that can be poked at the screen or flown in your face to make use of 3D. It's all garbage. It gives a great big happy smile to important business-people in suits who get sexually attracted to the sight of money, but it is the devil. It adds nothing to the film, any film, and makes it a dull grey business to watch. Kill it with a fire.
That is to say nothing of the various CG blood shots of innocent employees of a bad guy who wants to resurrect his old wife by sacrificing a pure-blood (ooh, racism. Fancy) girl. No one thinks of them. They're just here because they are employees. They just want to get trough the day, grab a beer with their mates after work, go home and see if they got a reply on Conanmatrimony.com. No one thinks of them, and they are sacrificed again and again, and I felt nothing because the 3D is so bad it makes the movie worse.
On the presence of plot in a Conan film, you idiots
Conan needs a strong lead, some interesting places, a few interesting characters, and a reason to thwack some monsters in the head. No one needs a plot. If you add one, add a proper one, with honour, duty, courage, sex and the things that make us human and the thin lines between society and barbarism.
Don't add a plot that does not make sense. Don't ever add a plot that not only doesn't make sense, is not worth caring about, because your macguffins and related places are so damn boring.
Conan does this. He gets a badass beginning as he is cut from his pregnant but dying mother's womb mid-battle by his father. From then on, he fights generic dudes till Stephen Lang and his daughter, the poorly-accented and horrible actress Rose McGowan come to his village and demand a piece of a mask that looks like a man's a***.
This is also required to resurrect the dead wife. Pointless does not begin to describe this.
On the business of what is known as remakes to business-suit people and what is known to us as the farming of our wallet, because this is what they want to do, okay, they want to farm your wallet thoroughly
It was unnecessary to make this film - the original books, comics and films are not only timeless, they are fun. Even now, so many years after they ceased making money off off them, they are still fun. This movie isn't. It gets what makes a fantasy film, and tries to replicate that in the most cost-effective and soulless way possible. The results are dire and a spit on the face of the original films' spirit.
On Conan the Barbarian
It's bad. It's really quite bad. It's Clash Of The Titans
without the fun characters or interesting creatures or any sort of fun. Oh, and the places it takes us are boring and soulless and made out of cardboard.
This makes it a film that cannot be enjoyed or even sat through without getting suitably drunk. And once you do that it's a slippery slope to watching Anees Bazmee comedies in a marathon at home eating soggy instant popcorn and pretending to miss a call from your friend from college. What I mean to say is don't do it.
At any time right now one of you is thinking of watching Conan The Barbarian. Stop. Apologise to yourself. Call a mate and make plans for something fun. Say Jai Arnold Schwarzenegger, and leave.
This film doesn't have our deity. It doesn't have a film. It has a charismatic dude with a sword and a whole lot of nothingness. Make a cup of tea, and think about the good old times. Don't watch this mess.