Much more by accident than design, I ended up going to see Conan the Barbarian. Given how rubbish the trailer had looked, I had decided not to, but there you go. The new Conan is Jason Momoa, who played Khal Drogo in the amazing Game of Thrones TV show. There’s no doubt that he’s a big guy, and was perfect as an uncivilised warrior chief in Game of Thrones. However, let’s face it: when it comes to muscles, he looks puny beside Arnie’s Conan. So right from the off, I thought they had made a mistake with the choice. Conan is supposed to be a thief as well as a skilled warrior. I thought they’d have been better going for someone who looked strong and swift but wasn’t particularly pumped up. Because if you go for someone who’s pumped up, you’re never going to match Arnie. And they didn’t, and so I spent a lot of the film thinking that this new guy could never knock a horse or a camel unconscious with a single punch. Plus the movie was already bound to suffer from the lack of James Earl Jones.
The story itself has undergone significant alteration, not always for the better. Conan’s father is around much more (which is good because it’s Ron Pearlman). There are no giant snakes (bad). The main baddie is now given a different and personal motivation for the pursuit of power, as well as an evil witch daughter. No need. To be fair, the start and middle of the film were better than I had expected from the trailer, but the end was dire, and dragged on for too long and was deeply unsatisfactory. This is also a misogynistic film with a great deal of unnecessary female toplessness. And the music was nowhere near as good as the original. Generally speaking, this was an inferior product. Even taking away the comparisons with the original, the disappointing ending meant it sucked. Not even worth going to see on a crazy Tuesday at the Movie House.