Trailer Tuesday: Conan the Barbarian

I should be ecstatic that we're finally getting a Conan reboot. As fun as the Arnie movies were, they didn't exactly explore the full scope and potential of Robert E. Howard's beloved pulp literature creation. The time is ripe to transport cinemagoers to the dark and brutal Hyborian Age, when sword and sorcery were both legitimate paths to power.

Conan the Barbarian, however, isn't quite what I was expecting. Although the trailer above makes me feel a lot happier about the film - particularly its ability to look and feel like an action-fantasy epic - there's still no denying the B-grade nature of it all.

Marcus Nispel, the director of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th remakes, is the man behind the camera for Conan. Stargate: Atlantis star Jason Momoa has bulked up to play the title character, Avatar's big bad Stephen Lang is the villain while G.I. Joe's Scarlett, Rachel Nichols is Conan's love interest. If that isn't enough B-grade king (and Hellboy himself) Ron Perlman is Conan's blacksmith father, and Rose McGowan, an almost-Red Sonja (a Conan spin-off, out of interest), plays the villain's right-hand woman - a powerful witch. Like I said, rather short on A-grade, big name talent behind and in front of the camera.

Anyway, just to clarify, Conan the Barbarian 2011 is not a remake of the 1982 film, despite the same title. In the reboot, Conan seeks vengeance after his father and Cimmerian tribe is slaughtered by power-hungry warlord Khalar Zym (Lang). In his quest for vengeance, Conan crosses paths with pirates, crosses swords with monstrous opponents and, of course, beds multiple buxom wenches. Things come to a head though when the Queen of Acheron is captured by Zym, who plans to make himself ruler of the kingdom.

I'm prepared to give Conan the Barbarian a chance. Despite the fact that the first official images have been terrible, and Conan looks like a sneering, dirty douchebag in every single one of them, the trailer has done a lot to redeem the production in my mind... even if some others are griping that the film looks little better than The Scorpion King, Kull the Conqueror, or TV's Hercules for that matter.

R-rated Conan the Barbarian will be screening in 3D, having undergone a post-filming conversion *yawn*. The film is releasing in North America on 19 August. It is unclear when the film will open in South Africa, although I'm sure we can expect it sometime between August and March 2012.


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