We’ve already seen the origin stories of several comic book heroes (including Thor and Green Lantern) played out onscreen this summer. Next month marks the arrival of Conan the Barbarian, which also explores the early days of its (anti-) heroic namesake, the deadly Cimmerian warrior created by Robert E. Howard.
A first clip for the Conan reboot has been released online, once again demonstrating that director Marcus Nispel (the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th remakes) won’t be holding back on the bloody carnage in this flick.
Conan the Barbarian has been brought to life in a variety of mediums before, including Howard’s original literature, comic books, films, TV series, and even a Saturday morning animated cartoon form (see: Conan the Adventurer). Visually, the reboot from Nispel appears to bear the strongest resemblance to both the graphic novel incarnation of the character and Howard’s original stories.
Jason Momoa likewise looks the part of Conan and (based on previously-released footage) can convincingly pull off gruesome acts of violence and bloodshed. But will the young Conan (Leo Howard) be equally believable?
Watch the NSFW Conan the Barbarian clip below and find out:
Give Nispel credit: he won’t make moviegoers wait long to see some nasty violence in his Conan reboot. This early scene from the film definitely has a vibe along the lines of Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto, with regards to both the ancient world setting and how the action is filmed coherently (possibly, that’s the 3D element coming into play). If Conan the Barbarian as a whole can be as fast-paced, exhilarating, and chest-thumping a thrill ride as Gibson’s film was, then it’s hard to imagine that fans will walk away disappointed.
Whether or not Conan the Barbarian will have much thematic substance, though, is another matter. Once you get past the stylish look and atmosphere of this first clip, it’s a pretty cliché scene that involves a future “hero” proving himself to be an exception among his peers, in the eyes of his father (here, a bearded Ron Perlman). People who are hoping that this reboot will show its title character as having more depth or being a complex anti-hero, along the lines of his portrayal in Howard’s source material, might end up feeling a bit let down.
On the other hand: If all you’re looking to get out of Conan the Barbarian is some cheesy, B-movie fun with lots of decapitations and murderous mayhem, then the reboot should deliver – assuming that action-packed sequences like this first clip are not far and few between in the actual film.
Conan the Barbarian attacks 2D and 3D theaters around the U.S. on August 19th, 2011.