Conan just ain’t what he used to be, literally. The new Conan The Barbarian movie starring Jason Momoa may make for some nice eye candy for the ladies (especially when they see the gratuitous butt scene), but he is still quite… well puny when it comes to Conan. Whether you grew up with the original Conan movies which starred Arnold Schwazzenegger like myself or read the comics and books, Conan has always been portrayed as a really really big dude, and well even after clearly hitting the weights, Momoa just doesn’t fit that image too well.
This version of the Conan story begins with Conan as a young boy so we get to see what life is like growing up in a Sumerian village and trying to earn the respect of his father (played by actor Ron Perlman). In truth I enjoyed the part of the movie the most. I actually thought young actor Leo Howard did a better job at playing Conan than Momoa did.
Soon an army of power-seeking madmen led by main villain Khalar Zym (Stephen Lang)invade Conan’s village searching for the final piece of a ancient artifact said to give the owner great powers. While searching for the item, both Conan and his father are captured and in the end the father is killed. The movie flashes forward to Conan as an adult (aka Momoa) and the rest of the movie basically focuses on Conan’s quest to seek out the evil Zym and seek revenge for his father’s death.
I won’t say this Is a horrid movie, but if you’re a fan of these type of sword-fighting, warrior-type movies, then there are movies out there you could go rent that do a much better job at it like Scorpion King, Braveheart or even the original Conan the Barbarian movie (which was a lot better than this one). None of the characters particularly stand out, and most the flight scenes become repetitive after awhile. I did like the scene where Conan gets his first chance as an adult to confront Zym, and he ends up taking on a army of sand creatures conjured up by Zym’s witch daughter Marique (Rose McGowan).
If you just want some mindless action to take your mind off things for an hour or so then it might be worth catching this one at a matinee but if you are looking for something on-par with the original Conan movie, then do yourself a favor and just go out and rent the original.