Tuesday 23 February 2010

Solomon Kane: The Verdict

Well, there it is.

If I were going with a star rating, I'd do it thusly:

As a film: 5/10
It's alright, but not great. Good acting, decent production values.

As a Robert E. Howard adaptation: 3/10
Kane at least comes from Devon, sailed with Drake, is a swordsman with black hair and light eyes, so he fits the phenotype. James Purefoy as Solomon Kane (other coast) was awesome, and showed sparks of the real Kane. Robert E. Howard is the second name seen on the credits, which is awesome. All that's enough for three points. This is unprecedented, since I'd give the other four REH films 0/10.

As an action flick: 6/10
A lot of "badass" moments, great action choreography, plus the usual Rocky-esque "beat him down so it's cathartic when he starts kickin' ass" routine. The Overlord's entrance for the final battle is almost ludicrously awesome, like the gates of Hell just opened up.

As a Sword-and-Sorcery film: 8/10
I have no stock for nostalgia: this is better than just about all the other Sword-and-Sorcery films I've seen.

So, yeah. I didn't hate it. Maybe it's because I went in expecting Kull the Conqueror, and so was pleasantly surprised. Who knows, maybe there's hope for REH in the cinema after all.


  1. Good balanced review, thanks.

    I will be seeing it on Friday, so your review is timely...

    As a diehard REH fan it is always difficult to way up the pros and cons of movie adaptions. I know they are going to loose a lot in the adaption, it is the nature of the beast, but as a keen fan I would love to see a true adaption.

    Still I am happy with your rating as a Generic Sword and Sorcery flick, so that will do me!

  2. I feel a good bit better about the film after reading your review. At least it sounds like fun.

  3. Well, I feel somewhat better about the film than I previously did. I have heard mixed reviews, but I have a feeling your's is probably more balanced than most. I can't wait to see the film.

  4. David: indeed, it's really hard to be unbiased. However, Miguel said all I could say on the matter of it as a pure REH adaptation, so I decided to look at it from a more thematic perspective for the bulk of the review.

    Charles, the trick is to just forget this is supposed to be REH's Solomon Kane: if I didn't do that, I'd be tearing my hair and beard out.

    RR: no problem!

    PS: I made an effort to be balanced, so hopefully I'm not misleading anyone. I think if you're going there with REH's Kane in your mind, you're just going to end up having a horrible time. Then again, I read the script back when it was leaked, so I was prepared for a lot of the horrors.