Ever since Arnold Schwarzenegger ran amok slaughtering (or shagging) everything in sight in the 1982 film version of Conan the Barbarian, fans have been waiting to see another movie where the famous muscle-bound warrior would reign havoc down on his foes. If nothing else, this summer's Conan series reboot looks to do just that.
There have only been glimpses of bloody violence in the TV spots for director Marcus Nispel's Conan the Barbarian up to now, by today a red band trailer has been released, featuring more than its fair share of gory killings and unflinchingly brutal action.
Conan the Barbarian stars Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones) as the titular Cimmerian thug and Avatar's Stephen Lang as Khalar Zym, the vicious warlord responsible for murdering Conan's father (Ron Perlman) and loved ones. Fitting in to the film's revenge-driven plot is one Tamara (Rachel Nichols), a woman whose destiny is inextricably linked to Conan.
Sadly, those hoping for an early glimpse of the one-on-one fight between Khal Drogo and Colonel Quaritch (Momoa & Lang, that is) will have to wait for Conan the Barbarian to hit theaters in order to watch that potentially fearsome showdown. Everyone else can at least partially satisfy their desire to see lots of flying CGI blood, people being stabbed, Conan and Tamara getting hot and sweaty, and giant tentacled beasts ripping bodies in half by watching the film's red band trailer.
Check out the NSFW Conan the Barbarian theatrical preview (via IGN) below:
As stylishly dark and uncivilized as everything in Nispel's version of Hyboria looks (from the ominous fortresses to the armor-clad killers that roam the landscape), it's hard to deny that the dialog in the Conan footage shown so far is downright flat, even by mindless B-movie standards. While the murky visual style of the film looks fine in 2D, that aesthetic probably won't lend itself well to 3D - not to mention that scenes in which tentacles or spiked weapons fly out at the camera look to offer more of a gimmicky, less an immersive, experience. Translation: we recommend passing on the 3D with this one.
Moving away from the 3D issue: Does Conan the Barbarian seem like good cheesy fun - or just a bloody mess? Momoa arguably looks the part of a capable and agile warrior, and seems to possess the sort of screen presence to make the title role his own. The problem appears to be that every time he (or anyone else) speaks, the dramatic mood of the scene begins to deflate. On the other hand, most of the cast appears to be having a blast, chewing the scenery; however, that can quickly become quite tedious and silly (See: the Clash of the Titans remake).
Finally, regardless of whether or not you think the hard rock music fits in the Conan the Barbarian trailers and TV spots, the actual film will presumably (probably?) have more of a regular orchestral soundtrack. Take all that as you will.
Conan the Barbarian hits theaters this summer on August 19th, 2011.