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Review: "Conan" is Bloody and Brainless

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Sasha Perl-Raver gets dirty with Rachel Nichols, and prompts Jason Momoa to bust out some Dothraki for you "Game of Thrones" fans.

    The other day, several of our colleagues asked what we thought of the new "Conan" remake starring "Game of Thrones" star Jason Momoa.

    "It's super bloody, crazy violent, and really stupid," we replied.

    "So—it's awesome!" these normally level-headed family men enthused.

    Depends who you're talking to.

    If you're of the chest-bumping, testosterone-pumping, "Let's wail on our pecs, kill our quads and pound a Muscle Milk" ilk, a gamer fanboy who only need a plot as complex as what you might find in Mortal Kombat or one of the many fans Momoa amassed as Khal Drogo, and you can just be happy to see him once again wielding a sword in leather and fur short shorts, than, yeah, "Conan" is kind of awesome.

    But, if you have any interest in coherent storytelling, find numbing violence distasteful or value good acting, you might want to skip the latest offering from this years' onslaught of 3D remakes.

    Twenty nine years since Ah-nold lumbered his way to stardom in as the Cimmerian warrior out to avenge the murder of his father and the slaughter of his village, Marcus Nispel ("Texas Chainsaw Massace," "Friday the 13th") has directed a reboot so gleefully mindless, you almost don't know if you should cheer the stupidity or warm up the tar and feathers.

    Beginning with a laughably overstated voiceover by Morgan Freeman, we watch as Ron Perlman ("Sons of Anarchy," "Hellboy") takes a timeout from the battle raging all around him so he can perform a quickie caesarian, rip his son from his wife's dying body and raise him up like Rafiki with Simba as Freeman bellows, he was "born on the battlefield," but things only get bloodier and more ridiculous from there. Feeling at times like a telenovella with blood lust and a hefty CGI budget ("Days of Our Tribe"), there's no point in any plot explanation beyond Conan's catchphrase: "I live, I love I slay, I am content."

    There's wooden dialogue, especially when delivered by the lovely but useless Rachel Nichols as Conan's love interest, one completely superfluous but delightfully gratuitous love scene (we literally applauded Momoa's "NYPD Blue" moment), loads of gore, aaaand…roll credits, cue potential for a sequel.

    Despite some solid action set pieces—most notably a battle between Conan and a posse of sand ninjas created by an evil sorceress (Rose McGowan doing the best with what she's given)—beyond the camp potential that may come with time, this "Conan" is barbaric in all the wrong ways.