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.

4 comments:

dr.morbius said...

I kinda like Kane mysterious. I mean, no one demands the backstory of Clint Eastwood's man with no name. Why do we need Kane's backstory.

Apart from that, I liked Solomon Kane well enough. It's a lot better than most sword and sorcery movies. I wish it would get a release in region 1.

Kal said...

I am a huge Solomon Kane fan. Those great Marvel black and white magazines with his tales would travel from my cousin to me back when I was a teen. Kane was the ultimate loner/adventurer/monster fighter to me. He always seemed to attract all manner of vampire, demon and werewolf. Plus I love a time before guns became more than just one shot noisemakers and the SWORD was the main weapon of defence. Despite all I knew about the character, I enjoyed this film also. I am a big fan of beaten down heroes looking for redemption. I am sorry it didn't get more credit than it deserved. It will be a nice watch for people who find it, however and that is always a good thing.

Rod Barnett said...

From what I understand it may never get e a proper Region 1 release. Something to do with a rights issue in the US. That said- it looks great on the Region 2 Blu-Ray.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Another reason I am glad I download like a Barbary Pirate.