Conan the Barbarian 3D Blu-ray Review - -
Conan the Barbarian 3D
Reviewed by
James Wright
Conan the Barbarian 3D Review. Conan the Barbarian 3D is a fun and mindless action movie that successfully moves this character to the 21st century and Momoa makes the perfect Barbarian.

Feature 7.5
Video 9.0
3D 7.0
Audio 9.0
Special Features 8.0
Total 7.5

Distributor: Roadshow
Running Time: 112 Minutes
Reviewer: James Wright
: MA15+


Conan 3D

During the 1980's, the sword and sorcery genre was extremely popular and the cinemas and video stores (yes... video tapes) were inundated with these releases. These stories contained epic battles between good versus evil and also a healthy (or perhaps unhealthy) dose of beefcake and cheesecake with some men and women wearing not much at all.

Two movies that came out of this period was Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer, both starring the former governorator of the California, Arnold Schwarzenegger which were extremely faithful to the original books by Robert E. Howard.

Although the first movie was far superior, the subsequent sequel became a little more comedic which would soon be the end of an era. We won't go into what happened to this genre when The Legendary Journey of Hercules or Xena Warrior Princess aired on TV but suffice to say, both these series were inspired by the original Conan movies. (Okay... these two series were damn cool when I was kid but something did happen to this genre)

Fortunately with films such as The Lord of the Rings and Beowulf, the fantasy genre has made a serious comeback and director Marcus Nispel has rebooted the Conan franchise much like J.J. Abrams Star Trek. Starring Jason Momoa, Ron Perlman, Rose McGowan, Rachel Nichols and Stephen Lang, Conan the Barbarian 3D is not only a homage to an earlier genre but Nispel successfully moves this genre into the 21st century, especially with the inclusion of some very impressive special effects and the gimmicky 3D touch.

In Conan the Barbarian 3D, Jason Momoa (Star Gate Atlantis and The Game of Thrones) is transformed into the perfect Conan. It does help that he looks like a beefcake and thankfully like a Barbarian. Fortunately he limits the channelling of his inner Schwarzenegger and as a results, creates his very own version of the rather stoic and silent Cimmerian Barbarian.

The story is clichéd. Personal vendetta turns into a grudge against an ancient evil and before you know it, Conan is saving the world. The result of this rather predictable yet clichéd story may not win any Academy Awards but it definitely delivers a mindless action adventure that will definitely appease the male market. Violence and sex... that pretty much sums up Conan the Barbarian 3D. However there is a charm behind Momoa as Conan and when you started rooting for the hero, you know that the story has you hook, line and sinker.

Video & Audio

Visually, Conan the Barbarian 3D is definitely a popcorn movie and Nispel excels at creating an eye candy extravaganza with its over the top battles and surreal environments. The film is quite gritty and violent and given that a Barbarian is the main character, this is expected.

In relation to 3D, the film is rather flat and this may be a result that the movie was not filmed in native 3D. There are times when certain scenes do jump out at you, especially with the battles or when something comes at you but because the film is so dark and gloomy, the 3D is a little lacklustre. The video quality does look sharp, especially the 2D version and all the blacks are muted colours work well with the earthy colours of this presentation.

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix definitely works well with this film. The whole movie has this booming feel to it, especially when the battles commence which makes perfect use of the surround sound system and from the first battle, you know that your ears are in for a treat. Even the background ambience works well from the subtle sounds of nature or a swordsman slowly unsheathing his weapon, it comes together well with the story. Dialogue is also clear and in general, the sound levels of this movie are perfect as is the majestical soundtrack of the movie.

Special Features

For fans of the movie or the character Conan, there is a wealth of special features included for the viewer. My favourite feature is the documentary entitled The Conan Legacy which revolves around the comeback of Conan for modern audiences and is quite insightful. We also have another featurette called Robert E. Howard: The Man Who Would Be Conan that is a short documentary behind Conan's creator, Battle Royal: Engineering the Action goes behind the scenes of the film and how some of the action scenes were created and finally Staging the Fights which further adds to the creation of the epic battles in the film. 

Final Thoughts

Conan the Barbarian 3D is a fun and mindless action movie that successfully moves this character to the 21st century and Momoa makes the perfect Barbarian. The story is definitely cliché and quite over the top but this is what Conan is all about and the only slight letdown for this release is that the 3D is a little flat and uninspired. Even so, it's good to see another film from the sword and sorcery genre and here's hoping that we will see a Conan 2.


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