‘Solomon Kane’ Movie Review
Although it was released in Europe three years ago, director Michael J. Bassett’s Solomon Kane has crossed over the pond and landed, without mercy, in American theatres. The sound you hear? That’s the lamentations of the audiences.
Don’t get me wrong; I love cheesy movies. You won’t find a bigger fan of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 than me, but even Mike and the ‘Bots would have a hard time making this clunker anything but 100 minutes of bloodshed and melodrama.
Based on the pulp novels by Robert E. Howard, the same mind that gave us Conan the Barbarian, the story centers on Solomon Kane (James Purefoy), a 16th century mercenary-turned-Puritan who must vanquish all evil in order to save his damned soul. Although he swears never to kill again, his elite skills are resurrected when a kind and religious family (headed by the late Pete Postlethwaite) who took him in and cared for him are killed and captured by the minions of an evil sorcerer.
When compared to other films such as the Conan series or its many knock-offs, this movie comes off looking shiny and brilliant, but that’s only thanks to some good CGI. That seems to be where the bulk of the production costs went, yet I can’t help but think that some of that dough should have gone to the screenwriter(s). Maybe then we could have gotten more than just a basic rescue plot that didn’t even end in a wedding. Seriously, I sat through the whole movie thinking that my reward would be one scrap of romance that might make it all worthwhile…and I got nothing. Plot thread dropped.
This is the sort of movie that you catch on the big screen when it passes through the discount theatre and you’ve seen everything else playing. The sad thing is, it’s not even really enjoyable as a guilty pleasure. I certainly wouldn’t recommend paying too much money to see it, and apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so, considering that I spend more on pedicures than has been spent on marketing this picture in America.
If you do go see it, sneak in some booze and invent a drinking game. It’ll help a lot.
Solomon Kane opens in theatres today, Friday, September 28th.