Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Solomon Kane (2009) - ActionFest Buffet 3.0: Appetizer

On the Menu: SOLOMON KANE (2009)

Ingredients: James Purefoy, Pete Postlethwaite, Jason Flemyng, Max von Sydow, Mackenzie Crook, Alice Krige, Rachel Hurd-Wood and Patrick Hurd-Wood. Directed by Michael J. Bassett. Run time: 104 minutes. Rated: Not rated.

At First Bite: I had no expectations for the opening night film of ActionFest 2012. I knew nothing of the story. I only knew Purefoy and stunt coordinator Richard Ryan also teamed up for the first film presented at last year's ActionFest, IRONCLAD.

Solomon Kane (Purefoy) is an English mercenary/pirate who unfortunately meets up with the Devil's Reaper while helping himself to some treasure. Turns out Kane soul has been damned to Hell, and the Reaper wants to collect.

Kane escapes and tries to denounce his barbaric ways, but a sorcerer named Malachi (Flemyng) has created an army to wreak havoc and draw Kane to him.

Will he once more pick up his sword?

Tough to Swallow: The flashbacks ruin the main twist.

The Masked Rider's cape disappears after being set on fire.

Something to Chew On: Robert E. Howard created the pulp magazine character of Solomon Kane in 1928. Conan the Barbarian is Howard's more well-known character. He's also known for Kull the Conqueror.

Filming began in 2008, which was eleven years after the film rights were granted.

Christopher Lambert (HIGHLANDER) was offered the lead in 2001.

The movie was shot over 12 weeks time.

The film's budget was $40 million.

Purefoy suffered a head wound in a sword fight. The injury required five stitches.

This film is intended to be the first of a trilogy.

Aftertaste: I'll admit I was a bit disappointed to find out a 2009 film was opening a 2012 film festival, but it wasn't all that bad.

Watching Purefoy is like watching Gerard Butler or Hugh Jackman, but maybe slightly more enjoyable. He actually reminded me more of Butler in IRONCLAD, and more of Jackman in SOLOMON KANE. Let's hope he doesn't start doing big budget rom-coms. His performance here is solid. He makes for a perfect anti-hero.

Introducing the main villain at the end of the film is a mistake, in my opinion. And, the final battle is ho-hum. Overall, the fights are well-choreographed, but they are too sparse for a film like this.

One of the final confrontations is ruined by all the flashbacks. The twist is sooooooo predictable.

I love the look of the film. The cinematography and production design might be the best parts. Wait... the scene where Kane is crucified and works his way off the cross is actually my favorite part.

Perhaps, with the origin story touched on with this entry, the following two films will be filled with more decapitations and shootouts.

Let's hope.


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