They just don’t make cool sword and sorcery movies like Solomon Kane anymore. This is a stylish action adventure with a bit of magic and old-school charm. This is not surprising considering it’s based on a pulp magazine written by Robert E. Howard. Yes, he’s that Conan guy and he wrote this back in 1928. Now, almost a century later, his works still feel exciting and interesting. I have to admit that I was expecting a dark and brutal movie especially because of the R rating. However, Solomon Kane turned out to be just another commercial mainstream fantasy movie.
Too bad, it had such potential what with him bound for Hell and everything else but more about that later. With a budget of over $40 million, Solomon Kane looks awesome featuring excellent special effects and imposing sets. The costumes are also pretty stylish. I think that 2004’s Van Helsing was a major influence on this production. And speaking of influences I have to mention Jonah Hex, a movie that came out just a year after this one and looks almost exactly the same. So, if you’re looking to continue your adventures, these two movies are good choices. And I guess since we’re talking about Howard’s works, the new Conan the Barbarian is also on the menu.
Meet Solomon Kane, a vicious mercenary who just claimed his latest prize. A huge fort in North Africa fell under his relentless attacks and he alongside his men starts looking for its treasures. However, he finds a room full of mirrors and demons who quickly claimed the lives of his men. This is where Kane learns that he’s bound for Hell because of his life of sin. He quickly jumps out the window and starts planning how to get out of this mess.
I have to give one thing to this movie, it’s entertaining throughout. And although I wish it was much bloodier I’m willing to just let go and enjoy what I have. It’s the little things people, little things. Little things, a lot of weed if I might add. Solomon Kane features a classical hero’s journey before people realized it’s classical. And James Purefoy was excellent as the titular character. He’s like the dark version of Thomas Jane. Plus we got the opportunity to see the immortal Max von Sydow.
Finally, I want to say that Solomon Kane ends just as furiously as it began. That was one hell of a finale and a perfect ending to a solid movie. Also, this was supposed to be just the first movie in a big trilogy that was never meant to be. I hope that someone in the future will pick up the sword and carry on Kane’s legacy.
Director: Michael J. Bassett
Writers: M.J. Bassett, Robert E. Howard
Cast: James Purefoy, Samuel Roukin, Max von Sydow, Philip Waley, Philip Winchester, Pete Postlethwaite
Fun Stuff: Despite optioning the rights in 1997, filming did not begin until January 2008.