Solmon Kane

Posted: March 28, 2010 in Movies
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Solmon Kane is a 17th century puritan adventure created by Robert E. Howard, the 1930s pulp writer who also created Conan the Barbarian. I’ve never read Kane stories, so I’ve no idea how faithful the movie was, but this told his origin story.

The opening scene shows Kane as a bloodthirsty warrior raiding and pillaging someplace in northern Africa in the year 1600. Along the way he runs into a demon from hell, who speaks in a super loud deep voice. The demon informs Kane the some deal has been made for his soul. Kane has no idea what deal the demon is talking about, and manages to escape.

A year later he’s renounced violence, is covered in tattoos to protect him from evil, and lives at a church. However, the church informs him the time has come to seek his destiny, and he departs. Meanwhile we get a flashback of his childhood where he had a falling out with his father.

Kane decides to head home, and runs into a family along the way. Soon they all run afoul of evil warriors who are rounding up slaves. They’re led by a masked warrior who seems to have mystical powers. Kane must return to his violent roots to stop the villains.

Like the first Conan movie, it’s slow paced at first. We spend a lot of time with Kane and the family, getting to know everyone. Kane is haunted by the sins of his past and desperately wants to not return a violent life. He is forced to under the circumstances.

The problem of this film lies near the end. The masked villain, whose identity is not too much of a surprise, is not the head bad guy. Instead it’s some wizard named Malichi, who in turn summons an uber demon villain in the final battle. So now we have 3 big bad guys. For simplicity sake the masked guy should have been in charge. Also the big demon looks really cool but wasn’t scary like it could have been. None of the villains were really frightful because we don’t see them on screen enough to get scared of them. The leader doesn’t appear till the end scene.

The atmosphere is good in this movie, lots of rainy dark shots that look naturally dark, not computer graphics dark. The cinematography of the English landscape is nice, and the action is gory but not over done. It’s not super thrilling action but it’s good enough. The editing is a little rough. There’s one or two tiny scenes I didn’t get the point of. One emotional scene at the end jumped to quickly to the following scene. The lead actor is ok, he comes across as a poor man’s Hugh Jackman. The supporting cast was good though, with some good performances from the family he runs across.

I didn’t know what to expect but it was decent. Could have been sharper in some spots and should have been scary, but if they make a sequel I’d go see it. 7.5 out of 10.

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