Alright, just got back from seeing it. I brought my woman with me to check it out in 2d. While it's fresh in the mind I thought I'd get my first impressions down. SPOILERS ALERT!!!!
The good: Visuals were great. Action was fun and brutal. Costume design was decent. Characters were a bit shallow, but still felt as if they could have walked off the pages of a Howard tale as he usually described the thugs and villains in a brief but detailed fashion. Jason Momoa delivered a great Conan. I loved how he interacted with everyone, friend or foe. Some scenes really did have a Howard feel to them and made me smile.
The bad: The story was weak. Dialogue was shit at times. The volume was louder than some metal concerts I've been to, distracting us from the action on screen. I hate shaky cam. The sound track was totally forgettable. The direction was poor. This movie felt rushed, not because of the pacing (though that was ridiculous and all over the place). No this isn't me being a civilized movie snob, it's the truth.
The ugly: Characters and scenes doing shit that makes no F---ing sense abound. Marique leaving claws in the dirt so Conan can find them? A ship being towed across the land.. when Artus's ship seems to always be close by... IN THE OCEAN! Conan pulling armor out of his ass, wearing it for a few minutes then putting it back up his ass. Conan always leaving his Pirate friends because "It's something I have to do alone", only to walk 1/4 mile a way from the ship for.... A sex scene, just because. No other reason. How is that bad? Watch it and tell me how well it fits. The Birth scene was silly. Not a good idea to open a Conan movie with a joke, wait that wasn't supposed to be funny? Conan gags Tamara... Which is fine, only it was cheesy and comedic rather than practical. Conan stuffs another wad of cloth into Remo's mouth before giving him a catapult ride... No Remo doesn't spit it out.. Apparently hyboreans don't have that reflex. No, the camera follows him through the air... Was this supposed to be awesomer in the 3d version? Because it was complete shit from my seat.
I don't know. I was teased throughout the movie with slices of Howard's world, but those slices were thin and sparsely placed between chunks of cheese and lard which tasted allot like Kull the conqueror and Scorpion king. While I was watching, I was trying not to think, just take it all in and enjoy what I could. After processing it all I have come to the conclusion that Hollywood hates Howard, and Howard fans. They must simply take Conan and his world for a joke. Maybe they really tried to give us a decent Conan flick, but it seems they failed again. This movie, despite it's efforts to deliver a new and interesting take on our favorite barbarian, has succeeded in only adding another coat of cheesy shit to the franchise.
I was hoping that this movie was the stepping stone from which more Howard tales could leap from, but I don't think that is possible. Like Amsterdamaged said, this movie wasn't made for civilized people... Unfortunately civilized people are the ones who pay for sequels, and this movie won't generate enough revenue to warrant one. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't see it happening. The enthusiasm and is there, but the direction and writing are totally absent.
Overall I'm torn. Half of me is with Amsterdamaged, the other with Taranaich. I can appreciate what it is for what it is, and walk away from it all with a cheap fun time (and 2 free passes due to complaining about the volume), but I know that this movie isn't going away. It will likely fade from the memory of the average movie goer, but for Conan fans, this is going to be a topic of discussion and debate for many moons to come. I guess I can say that I didn't expect much more than to see a dude looking more like Howard's Conan than Ahnuld running around a world that looks like Howard's hyborean age kicking ass for 112 minutes. I still think we deserve more than that.
So I'm both grateful and pissed off at the same time. I liked it for what it tries to do and the glimpses of Howard's Conan we get to see, but I hate it for the lack of effort to polish the story and direction. Overall I feel the movie was half assed. I give it a "C" being generous because it's the only Conan movie we're gonna see for a loooong time. That is all.
Edited by Roargathor, 20 August 2011 - 10:26 AM.