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Conan the Barbarian (1982)



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Conan the Barbarian has its share of redeeming qualities. It's got a good, if underused, villain in James Earl Jones, whose monologue on flesh and steel and snake arrows are fascinating, and it's got an inspired, if overused, soundtrack. So what's the problem? For one, it moves at a snail's pace. For two, the majority of the content consists of decapitations, spurting blood, and overlong pagan ritual. Oh, yay. I am told that Arnold Schwarzenegger's Conan is extraordinarily faithful to the character from the books, but is this a good thing? Someone behind camera had the gumption to have Conan punch out an animal (a nice move if only to offend those flighty individuals easily put out by a movie pretending to harm an animal but who don't bat an eyelash at mowing down humans by the score), and that's the only scene where the character intrigues me in the least beyond the first promising fifteen minutes. Conan the Barbarian could have been good, should have been good, but sadly isn't.

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