Blu-Ray Review: Conan The Barbarian (2011, 3D)

conan blu Blu Ray Review: Conan The Barbarian (2011, 3D)

I’m willing to give any movie a chance as long as it’s not a black & white indie bore, so even though Conan got a bad rep, I gave it a shot.  The trailers made it look watchable but the critics and the box office said otherwise (22% rottentomatoes, $48 million worldwide take on $90 million budget).  I hate to say it but the critics were right.  This movie is dull and lifeless.  Jason Momoa is actually good as Conan.  He’s charismatic and athletic, just like in the comic books.  Conan hunts down the villain, Khalar Zym (Stephen Lang, also the bad guy in Avatar) with the help of  Tamara (Rachel Nichols).  Conan wants revenge after his parents (dad is played by Ron Perlman) are killed in the hands of Zym.  Zym keeps attacking villages so he can collect artifacts that will give him great power and make him rule the world (there’s no Mordor in this version though).

The cast in the Conan remake is pretty good.  They’re not a-listers but they’ve had solid performances before.  Just like the comic, the movie has plenty of action, violence, nudity  and sorcecery.  So what went wrong in the movie?  I have to put the full blame on director Marcus Nispel (Pathfinder).  He focuses solely on action scenes but unlike Michael Bay (Bad Boys 2), he can’t make it exciting even if his life depended on it.  There’s not enough wide shots to understand what’s going on.  Slo-motion shots are also used frequently but I don’t get why it was used.  It just made the movie even more tedious.  I’m sure the crew worked hard on the action sequences but it becomes a waste when Nispel doesn’t know how to shoot it.  There’s a lot of voice-over in the movie, another sign that Conan was in trouble.  Pretty much everything had to be explained to the audience just in case we were lost with the movie. 

Conan had potential to be an entertaining movie like Gladiator and 300 but the choice of director made sure it wasn’t going to happen.

The blu-ray comes with the 3D version and it’s pretty good.  The swords really stand out, as well as the costumes.  The detail is impressive and the transfer is solid.  Audio is excellent and presented in lossless 7.1 DTS-HD.  Extras for the blu-rays include commentaries by cast & crew, trailers, DVD & digital copy and several behind the scenes featurettes.  The best feature was the commentary track with Momoa and Nichols.  It sounded like they enjoyed making the movie and proud of their work.

Overall, Conan The Barbarian was a wasted opportunity.  It could’ve been fun but it turned out to be a bore.

Grade: D+

pixel Blu Ray Review: Conan The Barbarian (2011, 3D)

More fun articles: