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Conan the Barbarian

Conan the Barbarian

What He said:


I have a confession to make. I’ve never seen this movie. I have seen parts of both Conan movies, but I never knew which one was which. I knew that they very popular amongst fans (the first one at least), I’m an Arnold fan, but I never got around to seeing either of them. I had heard they were planning on making a third Conan movie, so since that was on my mind, I decided to check out the original.

Conan is a young boy who is orphaned when a group of warriors – led by a tyrant named Thulsa Doom – attacks his village, kills his parents, and sells him into slavery. The boy is forced to do manual labor for many years. The years of hard labor transform that boy into a large, powerful, and imposing man (played by none other than Arnold Schwarznegger). Conan is then sold to a new master who forces him to fight in gladiator style fights. It takes some getting used to, but he was born to be a warrior. He wins many fights and the crowd loves him for it. His master also grows to respect him and decides to set him free.

Conan the Barbarian

It is at this point that Conan can actually begin the quest for revenge that has been fueling his rage for so many years.  He has not forgotten the face of the man who changed his life. He doesn’t know who Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones) is, but he’s going to find out.

Along the way, Conana gains some friends/followers. Subotai (Gerry Lopez) is a thief and an archer. The two seem to hit it off pretty quickly and soon team up with Valeria (Sandahl Bergman). She is another thief and after talking amongst themselves and asking around a little bit, they find a temple of some kind of snake cult. The leader of the cult is none other than Thulsa Doom. Hoping to find out more about Doom’s location, and wanting to get rich in the process, Conan and company decided rob the temple. They get out, but are eventually arrested. The king of the town (played by Max von Sydow) says they’ve done him a favor. The evil snake cult has infested his town like a disease. Even worse, one of his daughters has run off with the leader. Seeing this as an opportunity to get some revenge, Conan decides to take the job, but his allies decline.

Conan the Barbarian

Conan is a very simple story. It’s a story about a man who wants revenge. That is not anything new or particularly unique. Along the way he fights some monsters, witches, evil wizards, makes a few friends, meets several ladies, and drinks a little bit too. That might not sound like the most complicated plot and it isn’t. It’s kind of a day in the life of a barbarian in many ways. Conan is unapologetically simplistic. It’s also unapologetically Rated-R and that’s where the movie really kind of comes together. Fantasy flicks tend to go for a lighter or toned down presentation, where Conan really embraces are more violent and adult approach. Imagine watching Total Recall or Robocop in a fantasy setting. This is a man’s movie. There’s sex, violence, and character who like to party like rock stars. If you’re a man or a lady who likes manly men (or warrior women), Conan will satisfy your need to indulge in something mindless yet entertaining.
Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was given the He said, She said seal of approval on March 12, 2013.

Conan the Barbarian