Sunday, May 8, 2011

Conan the Barbarian - Theatrical Trailer

I am a huge Robert E. Howard fan.  Conan was one of my first forays into fantasy and the first comic books I read consistently.  I am enough of a fan that one of the books I collect are first edition Conan paperbacks, especially any with the faux woodcut art.

I have been very skeptical of the new Conan movie simply because I didn't think Hollywood understood what made the character tick.  The newest trailer has dramatically changed my mind.

I am a fan of the Arnold Conan movies, including Red Sonja.  I enjoyed them not because they were great adaptation of Robert E. Howard's source material but rather fun movies to watch.  I never thought Arnold made a particularly good Conan.

The first trailer for the new Conan adaptation was little more than a teaser showcasing Jason Momoa.  I was a little nervous when I saw the trailer simply because Jason Momoa is obviously Polynesian.  This didn't fit my mental image of Conan, so long honed by comics and novels.

The theatrical trailer has changed my mind completely.  While Jason Momoa face my not fit my mental image of Conan; Mr. Momoa body and his, most importantly, body movement are spot on.  I make this distinction because one of the consistent means of describing Conan is as a powerful feline beast.  Jason Momoa captures this sense of feline grace and power.

Conan was not simply a muscle-head as portrayed by Arnold.  Conan was both strong and agile.  Before Conan was King, before Conan was a mercenary, Conan was a thief and the greatest thief of Hyboria.  While Conan had allied and enemies who may have been stronger or more agile, none were both stronger and more agile than Conan.

What I am curious to see in the movie is if they successfully covey Conan's mental qualities.  Robert E. Howard gifted Conan not only with unparalleled physical qualities but also many mental gifts.  While Conan was no wizard he was cunning and instinctual.  The final touch to Conan's character was his magnetic personality.  Conan was always a leader among men.

Outside of Conan himself, the trailer really conveys a sense of grandeur.  Conan if nothing else was all about the adventure and seeing distant lands.  The trailer seems to be hitting on all cylinder on this front.

Lastly, the trailer really seems to convey a sense of action.  The Arnold movies really failed on this front with their deliberate pacing and camera work.  I really like how the new trailer seems to be filled with movement.

So in total, this trailer has done its job.  I am pumped to see this movie.

Video Source: Lionsgate

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