Sunday, February 13, 2011
SOLOMON KANE (2009)
I recently got to see the film SOLOMON KANE and it was a pleasant surprise. It is a fine sword & sorcery film, beautifully shot, well acted and very exciting. I enjoyed it immensely and find myself now recommending it to friends who like the occasionally story of this type. The one area in which the film fails is the same one that other movies of its type have failed in the past- it is not a very good adaptation of the source work. Much like Conan, Solomon Kane was created by pulp writer Robert E. Howard and over the course of nine short stories we are told a fair amount about the character but huge portions of his past life are left purposely shadowy. This may have been because Howard had no interest in relating more such information or was holding certain details in reserve for future tales he never got to write. Because of this enigmatic aspect of the character the crafters of the film decided to build their own back story for Kane to give the audience a full arc showing a bad man who turns from evil but is still a damned soul. Much as the people behind CONAN THE BARBARIAN picked and chose elements from half a dozen Howard stories to make their film story, Michael J. Bassett takes the character of Kane, stays close to his nature, beliefs and fate while making a more cinematic adventure. This could have easily been a disaster but the film is pretty damned good and I couldn’t be happier. Normally I would be pissed about the liberties taken with one of my favorite characters but the movie is so well done I really can't complain. It’s not the Solomon Kane of the page but as a film it’s great.