Since when did Conan turn into a fairytale?
The effect budget definitely increased, the cast budget probably ditto - though I don't appreciate Tracey Walter's foolery, and the villains this time are gods and wizards wielding some at the time probably pretty incredulous props, but looking back - by modern standards - just not the most authentic.
Arnold might have polished his sword skills a bit, the fights look flashier; the locales ditto; the magic all the more smoke and mirrors, but overall this one just can't compare to the first one after all. That one felt both gritty and dreamy in such a different way. Savage and romantic beyond a blockbuster, with an end steeped heavy in both faith and fantasy.
This time everything feels forced, despite the bettered cast, and I understand why they never put out a third after it. It's not all bad, but not all as easily withstandable the test of time as the former, and somewhere along the way they lost the essence. Maybe when they figured it'd be better to opt for comedy, as Arnold's acting at times deserved. They went mainstream. They compromised. They changed. And unfortunately all the improvements can't give back the spark that came before this.
Some names though best not left unmentioned: Grace Jones, Wilt Chamberlain, Pat Roach and Andrew the Giant.
rated 3.5/5: not bad at all