Michael J. Bassett
Running Time: 104 minutes
UK Certificate: 15
Country: Czech Republic, France, United Kingdom
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 Solomons 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 devils 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 Solomans 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.
Alternatives:Conan the Barbarian, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, V for Vendetta
To be taken with a large pinch of salt, Solomon Kane is a generally enjoyable yet ultimately flawed fantasy adventure.