It took a while for this one to win be over, but it did. Sort of. Thanks to Momoa at first, then the lady, Rachel Nichols.
The special effects didn't help though. Nor the focus on rage in excess of all - especially in the beginning, nor the overbearing soundtrack and Morgan Freeman narration - also in the beginning. Quite the opposite with those, though what happened with the narration at the end of it? It went full circle nicely with the sword, but it seems there are certain lose ends still.
I missed James Earl Jones as the old villain too, but Saïd Taghmaoui made a good thief, they managed plenty of monsters and matters of myth, seeing Nathan Jones is always a treat too, and Ron Perlman was a worthy swordsmith, it's just... not the same. Not that Arnold was the best actor, but the first still had a realness to it this one just doesn't, and Momoa may be a beast but he's not all as buff as Arnold either.
I wonder if I'm just hunkering down on nostalgia, but I don't think so. I see the same flaw with this as with the second of the first two, that instead of making an epic that moved at its own pace - with a sometimes glum but passionate story - they went all too mainstream.
They tried too hard. Too flashy stunts. Too fantastic sceneries sometimes. Clumsy yet predictable narrative, where though I appreciate how they made Conan all the more Barbarian at first, in the end it just doesn't feel as believable. And the villain had too many chances. We had a similarly bleak end in the last one, but this one drew things out a bit too much in that regard, and without a crowd to see the ending. Without a finale worthy of the wanderer, a teary farewell at a hideout that seems like a land of dreams and then... that's it.
It started more like the first, but by the end I feel like they lost the trail; turned it into something different entirely. More stereotypical fantasy. Different atmosphere. It's still not a bad movie, just doesn't feel like Conan, and watching this knowing that's who they were trying to portray it didn't reach all the way.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle