Robert E. Howard’s name will always be synonymous with his most popular creation: Conan. The legendary barbarian has been the subject of adaptations both cinematic (including Jason Momoa’s recent lackluster attempt at rebooting the franchise in 2011’s Conan The Barbarian) and in various other mediums including comic books, video games, and television.
By now, the character has well and truly been strip-mined for ideas and the landscape of possible directions to take Conan in is more naked than your faithful reviewer after a round of strip Star Trek. (You take a shot of Tequila each time Spock says “fascinating!” or Kirk beds a green chick. If your date if willing to play a few rounds, you’ve got yourself a keeper.)
Luckily, director Michael J. Bassett (the upcoming Silent Hill: Revelation 3D) has decided to move down to Number 2 on the list of Howard’s most popular characters: Solomon Kane. For those not familiar with the man, Kane is a 16th century Puritan, dressed in a manner completely ripped-off by the titular hero of 2004’s Van Helsing, who wanders the world seeking evil to punish and demons to vanquish.
Kane is no ubermensch like his Cimmerian counterpart; he takes injury like any normal fellow, and his character is deeper and more flawed than the relatively shallow barbarian. Considerably less well known than Conan, many critics scoffed at the idea of bringing the character to the big screen.
Kane’s only previous claim to bigger fame was a series of Marvel comics published in black and white format back in the ’70s and ’80s. Completed in 2009, it’s taken three years for Solomon Kane to finally reach our shores. Overseas critics have been kind to Bassett’s take on Howard’s witch-hunter, but as my faithful demonic liches (aka: fans) are well aware of, my opinion is the only one that matters. Crom says so. Also, my mother. Thus, this is Yell! Magazine’s review of Solomon Kane!
Solomon’s grandma must not be very proud of him. He’s been a very, very naughty boy, raping and pillaging his little mercenary heart out up and down the African coast.
“It’s a living.”
Unfortunately, good times hit a brick wall during the invasion of an Ottoman city as Solomon bumps into the Devil’s Reaper who chillingly informs the erstwhile pirate that his soul is bound for hell. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Who knew a lifetime of wanton slaughter came with a price tag? Kane defiantly proclaims that he’s not ready for hell and takes on the monstrous Reaper, complete with flaming hell sword, mano-a-mano… with predictable results.
“This seemed like a good idea a minute ago…”
Continue reading the Solomon Kane review after the jump…
Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
24 September 2009
Michael J. Bassett
James Purefoy, Max von Sydow, Mark O’Neal, Richard Ryan, James Babson, Marek Vasut, and Rachel Hurd-Wood