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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Solomon Kane Movie Is A Must Watch!

By Crom! I know, wrong character, but damn, it's been a long time since there's been any comic related  movies I've seen lately worth mentioning as a "Must Watch!" 

To be honest, I hadn't even heard of a Solomon Kane movie, which was released in 2009, directed by Michael J Bassett and starring James Purefoy as the titular character. I had never heard of the director nor the actor either, and no clue they were doing a movie based on another famous Robert E. Howard pulp character who also made his first appearance in the pulp magazine Weird Tales like Conan.

Only until recently when I was browsing through Netflix completely bored with the selection and stumbled upon it was when I found out about it. I decided to give Solomon Kane a chance, even though the recent re-make of Conan The Barbarian was a tad bit of a disappointment. Still, it was a Robert E. Howard character, and a movie based on it deserved my interest no matter how slight.

Two other movies arrived with Solomon Kane, and to be honest, I was hesitant about watching it. I saved it for last.

I should've watched it first! What can I say except, "Friggin' awesome!"

I'm not the biggest fan of 17th century tales of sword and sorcery and such, but this movie was great. Detailing the origin of Solomon Kane and the events that precedes the 17th century Puritan's obsession and goal of vanquishing evil where ever he sets foot, the story starts with Solomon Kane as a murderous and quite merciless English sea captain who finds that his soul is desired by the Devil. Damned and hunted by the Devil's minions, Solomon renounces violence to become a man of peace, seeking redemption for his evil past to save his soul. When he meets a kind family of Puritans heading for the New World, he is thrust into a journey in which he must face his past and find his true purpose in order to redeem himself.

Although simple, it's a tale that does the character justice and is highly entertaining without the story being overburdened and purely driven by action. The movie is definitely not a corny and cartoonish translation of the character to the big screen. It's apparent that the director and writer, Michael J. Bassett, is a fan of the character and perfectly blends the lore of religion and witchcraft with the serious reality of life during the period to capture a dark, somber, but extremely entertaining and fantastic tale. I could tell that Bassett took the time to craft a tale and shoot a movie worthy of the character. 

The visuals are amazing, and some of the scenery shot is absolutely beautiful and stunning. The action sequences are quite good but not spectacular. They are realistic looking and quite bloody at times, which the era and the character calls for. This is a film that should not be PG-13, and the film makers made sure it wasn't.

The special effects are the same. They're really good, but nothing really quite that new. What I did like was that, like the action, this movie wasn't overbearing with special effects either. There are a few parts where they're used, but they were used to enhance the story. Not just to wow the audience.

The acting is superb, and James Purefoy captures the somber and gloomy Solomon Kane perfectly. He is perfectly believable as the character, and even more so when he works his sword during the action sequences. He definitely did the character justice.

Solomon Kane has had various comic book series by Marvel Comics during the 70s and the Dark Horse Comics series published in 2008. Since Hollywood has been digging the comic book mining cave for stories to make into movies, it's no surprise they'd also start mining the pulps as well. However, this is the fourth pulp character to flop at the box office. 1994's The Shadow, starring Alec Baldwin, was a financial disappointment along with 2011's remake of Conan The Barbarian and Disney's 2012 John Carter.

I happened to like John Carter, and I like this movie as well. I hope both movies will see a sequel, although I highly doubt both will unfortunately.  If you like sword and sorcery or action/adventure films with decent stories and superb acting, then Solomon Kane is a must watch. Solomon Kane is on DVD and Blu Ray. Netflix it or buy it off Amazon.

1 comment:

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