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Movie Review: 'Conan the Barbarian' -- 2 stars

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conan Photo Credit: Action-star-in-waiting Jason Momoa plays Conan./Simon Varsano

Conan the Barbarian

2 stars

Directed by Marcus Nispel
Starring Jason Momoa, Stephen Lang, Rachel Nichols, Ron Perlman
Rated R

If there’s one thing you can be sure of, it’s that the new “Conan” movie is barbaric.

Blood, blades and body parts fly all over the place in this ultra-stylized revival of the classic Robert E. Howard character, who debuted in the pages of the pulp magazine Weird Tales in 1932.

Completely separate from the Arnold Schwarzenegger films of the 1980s, this action flick follows the titular brute from his childhood (where he’s played by tiny badass Leo Howard, who flashes some serious sword fighting skills) to his adulthood, where action star- in-waiting Jason Momoa takes over. Fans of “Game of Thrones” will remember Momoa as the also-barbaric Khal Drogo.

The plot — which hasenough points to move the story but isn’t intricate enough to get in the way of the important parts (you know, the battles) — is your basic avenge-your-father’s death tale. When Conan was a wee lad, his pop was killed by Khalar Zym (wonderfully played by Stephen Lang), who was looking for some thingamajig to complete a magic mask of some sort to gain ultimate power. Does it matter? He finds it and kills Conan’s dad (played by Ron Perlman, a serious scene stealer), thus creating motive so that we can get more violence later on.

The pint-sized barbarian matures into a musclebound sword wielder and learns about Zym’s whereabouts. Then comes a bunch of, dare I say, barbaric fight scenes till the bloody end.

If you’re considering seeing “Conan the Barbarian,” you’re already in the mindset for a big ol’ fantasy action flick. And as long as you don’t expect much in the way of story, this modern iteration of the character is a bloody fun romp. 

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