Let me start this review by getting something out of the way: this is not a “good” movie. The plot is full of holes and many characters seemingly lack motivation for their actions. But let’s face it, you’re not going to see a Conan movie for a tight plot and fully fleshed characters; you’re seeing a Conan movie for the violence, and on that front, this film delivers.
This film is jam packed with violence, barbarians, pirates, monks, armies and more as they spill each others' blood in varying locations. Throughout it all there is some semblance of a plot concerning Conan being swept up in the resurrection of an evil sorceress. But ultimately this plot is simply an excuse for more violence (and a small love story).
The fighting in this film is very well done, as might be expected from a film with so much of it. The fights look convincing and Conan does not escape all of them uninjured. Likewise the special effects are high quality and add to the viewer’s immersion into the world. The acting, on the other hand, is much more hit or miss. Jason Momoa acts well as Conan, sticking to simple emotions and primal fury, which fit the character well. Stephen Lang is likewise good as Khalar Zym, the principle villain. The acting in general falls off from there: although there are some other performances that are good, the majority are less so.
The film is highly deserving of its R rating, both for violence and for nudity.
Ultimately, the film is fun to watch and the bloodthirst is enthralling. If you were already thinking of seeing Conan I would recommend you do so. If it’s not a film that was on your radar, then it would probably be a good one to avoid.
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