Thursday, October 25, 2012

In Praise of Arnold's Conan

I hereby go on record as saying that I loved, and still love, the 1982 film Conan the Barbarian.

I didn't at all like the sequel Conan the Destroyer. But the original, while blissfully ignorant of the corpus of REH's work, was a stirring romp with wonderful cinematography, outstanding music, and a great performance by James Earl Jones. Treat it on its own terms, and it's a terrific film. Big, broad, and fun. Don't try to analyze it in the context of the original REH stories. That's not what it is, or what it's supposed to be. It's its own thing. Embrace it as such, and you might find you like it.

So, when I heard the news that a final installment of the series, The Legend of Conan, was in the works, I was cautiously optimistic. Would it be the incomprehensible mess that the second film was? Or would it be akin to the serious, but not ponderous (in the way that the second half of Excalibur is ponderous), first film? Time will tell. As long as it's not like the Grand Theft Auto-esque remake from last year. That would well and truly suck. 

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