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Solomon Kane (2009)

Directed by:

Michael J. Bassett

Rating: 6/10

Running Time: 104 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

Country: France, United Kingdom, Czech Republic

When a movie bears the tagline ‘From the creator of Conan the Barbarian’ you kind of know what to expect. With this in mind, Solomon Kane really does deliver on a number of levels. A pretty nonsensical good verses evil plot with a tiny twist, inhuman fodder to be chopped down with a variety of sharp objects and, of course, an iconic pulp-era comic book hero.

Alas, delivering on these fine, but not essential criteria, does not make Solomon Kane a good film, rather a guilty pleasure to be indulged upon for one time only and with a huge pinch of salt. The CGI is lacking at times and the fight scenes follow the suspicious approach of going into super-close up mode which makes you wonder if they couldn’t be bothered with the choreography. Some of the younger supporting cast cringeworthily convey their lines in a way the Brits seem to excel at and especially at fault is Rachel Hurd-Wood who somehow tops her truly wooden performance in Dorian Gray. James Purefoy (from British television) certainly portrays a convincing portrait of Solomon Kane and he sure does love to get down and dirty. His (West Country?!) accent stands up for much of the film and he brings some credibility to Solomon’s tale of redemption. The cameraman seems to have a little crush on the star as much of the film is taken up with close ups of him ruggedly strutting towards the camera, invariably in the rain, cape billowing in the wind, with a snarl upon his face.

Right, here goes for a synopsis. Solomon Kane is a bloodthirsty mercenary who loses his soul to the devil’s reaper and is thereby destined for hell if he strays off the path of righteousness. He becomes a man of peace and tramps around having a series of pretty banal encounters before a Sorcerer named Malachi (Flemyng), turns up and starts trying to kill or enslave everyone, including William and Meredith from Soloman’s new family (Postlethwaite and Hurd-Wood). He snaps and goes on the rampage trying to get Meredith back and somehow manages to receive a promised pardon from God if he succeeds. Simple.

It's Got: Lots of rain, a hero with a West Country accent,

It Needs: Better CGI, more convincing fight scenes.


To be taken with a large pinch of salt, Solomon Kane is a generally enjoyable yet ultimately flawed fantasy adventure.


  1. Posted February 26, 2010 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    “When a movie bears the tagline ‘From the creator of Conan the Barbarian’ you kind of know what to expect. With this in mind, Solomon Kane really does deliver on a number of levels.”

    To fans of Solomon Kane it really doesn’t, seeing as it takes massive liberties with the source material due to Hollywood enforcing a gratuitous “origin” story for a character who works best without one.

    Luckily, Howard fans were already burned with Conan the Barbarian, so yes, fans DID know what to expect.

    “His (West Country?!) accent stands up for much of the film”

    It bally well should “stand up” seeing as he’s using his native Somerset accent.

  2. Posted February 26, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Fair enough!

    You’ve made me feel tiny.

    Far better than most of the illiterate abuse I get on here.

  3. carlo
    Posted May 18, 2010 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I really enjoyed it,it’s very dark and with lot of violence,not as many fantasy movies when all the characters are nice and well dressed

  4. DIB
    Posted May 25, 2010 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Better CGI? Did you watch the freaking movie? This is better than most of the insulting cookie-cutter crap that has been advertised to death by Holly-suck-my-wood.

  5. bob
    Posted September 1, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    I like his accent. Nice hat too. And the boots. Not to mention the leather trousers.

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