Sunday, 21 February 2010

Solomon Kane Review Reviews: Robert Mann

A good review, for once: Robert Mann.

Still, a few queries.

The creation of pulp fiction writer Robert E. Howard, known for characters such as Conan the Barbarian, Kull the Conqueror and Red Sonja, Solomon Kane is a character that can be distinctly classified as an anti-hero. Extremely dark, even by the standards of Howard, who has written some pretty dark stuff, he is a character that makes even the likes of Batman seem quite tame by comparison and, given the big screen potential for such a character, it is actually rather surprising that he hasn’t been brought to the big screen before.

It's fairly clear he doesn't have much experience with the literary character, since he considers him "distinctly classed as an antihero" who would make "even the likes of Batman seem quite tame."

This is entirely the creation of the film, based on a very extreme interpretation of the poetry. In reality, Solomon Kane is possibly the LEAST "anti-heroic" of his characters. Sure, he's dark and conflicted, but he's also immensely kind and gentle to the innocent. He'd only be an antihero if he was put into a modern context, where laws, society and mores are very different from the 15/1600s.

There are, however, a few things that set this film apart from other films in the sword and sorcery genre, things you may not expect. For starters, the acting is much better than it really needs to be. James Purefoy is excellent as the titular character, delivering a thorughly convincing performance of a character that is actually more complex than you might expect.

He mentions the performances being "better than they needed to be", but also says Kane is "a character more complex than you might expect"... surely a performance would need to be good in order to portray such a character?

Still, those problems aside, it's an interesting review, well thought out, and actually explaining why and how he came to his conclusions. Would that more critics took after his example.

1 comment:

  1. It seems mostly harmless as far as Reviews go, but could still be better. But then I suppose, film reviewers are paid to review films not the works on which those films are based..

    Still its a shame, I mean the information is out there like a low hanging fruit. All it needs is some one to grasp it and smear it on a page.