Monday 26 July 2010

Solomon Kane

I finally got round to watching this on DVD this weekend. I must admit, having read the original Robert E. Howard stories years ago, I have been looking forward to this. I was disappointed to miss it when it first came out at the cinema.

Unfortunately, I must admit to feeling disappointed by it, more so as I had great hopes from James Purefoy as Kane. I was impressed by his earlier performance in the HBO series, Rome, where he played Mark Anthony.

What went wrong?

Was it the excessive use of CGI and over-egging of the supernatural menaces? That certainly was partially true. Film makers seem unable to make a judicious, moderate use of this and just have to go overboard with it. That definitely didn't help this film.

Was it the lack of humour? Again that didn't help. And I do wish today's film makers, when they're doing a horror film, would remember that sometimes a little use of humour in the right parts can add to a film. Hammer knew this at their peak.

Was it the fact, also, that the Kane of the original stories wasn't present as a fully fledged character until the end of the movie, the rest of it being an origin story, explaining how he became Kane? That could have had something to do with it too. How film makers do love their origins stories! Personally, I usually find them downright boring.

No, I wasn't all that impressed with this film. It was certainly better than the Conan movies, but that's not exactly saying a lot. And I don't wait with bated breath for the next Kane movie - if there ever is one.

Nor do a wait with bated breath for the next CGI fest - not because I don't like it as a special effects tool - it can be brilliant if used well - but because it so often isn't.

Anyway, at least there are still the original Robert E. Howard Kane stories.

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