A boy avenging his murdered family. Bullet-time violence. A self-referential aside. A woman, preferably with breasts. That penultimate moment when something nuts happens to the sound of the “crescendoing strings” setting on a disused Yamaha.
If you think we’ve just described every action movie and/or videogame trailer released between 2005-2011, you’re (mostly) right! But specifically we’re talking about the remake of Conan the Barbarian starring Lisa Bonet’s baby-daddy, Jason Momoa. Momoa, a genial former model from Hawaii, is perhaps best known these days for playing Khal Drogo, a rapey horse-lord on HBO’s Game of Thrones. And, honestly, director Marcus Nispel’s brutal vision of Cimmeria doesn’t seem so far removed from Dothraki, save for English being spoken and the kitchen 86-ing the horse heart. (It does, however, seem quite different than the glossy submarine Nispel stuck the Fugees in 15 years ago.) There are some visual wows — Momoa fights digital snakes! Momoa fights a sand-person! Momoa has to share the screen with noted scenery chewers Stephen Lang, Rose McGowan, and Ron Perlman! But mostly it seems like more of the slashing, savage same. Our advice? If you see one movie this summer about a wronged guy with a temper and a funny name, make it this one.