Wandering Star Pictures

Language: English
Release Date: France – December 23, 2009; UK – February 19, 2010; U.S. – None
U.S. DVD Release Date: Unknown

Solomon Kane is a character created by American pulp fiction author Robert E. Howard during the 1930’s. Howard is best known for bringing to life the legendary warrior, Conan. Many people have crowned Howard the father of the sword and sorcery genre.

Set in the 1600’s, England is a lawless and godless place, “where no one stands up to evil.” Solomon Kane (James Purefoy) was a thief and a murder until a spirit, known as The Reaper, appears before him to tell Solomon that the Devil wants his soul. Seeking redemption, Solomon renounces violence and goes to live in a monastery.

After leaving the monastery, Solomon wanders about the countryside trying to figure out how to be absolved of his sins. Along the way, he meets and becomes friends with the Crowthorns, a Purtian family that are on their way to America.

One day, the Crowthorns are attacked by a brutal army under the command of a wicked sorcerer named Malachi (Jason Flemyng). This repulsive group of raiders, lead by a hulking masked rider (Samuel Roukin), has been spreading fear and death throughout the land.

After William’s daughter Meredith (Rachel Hurd-Wood) is taken by Malachi’s hideous force, he pleads with Solomon to get her back and if he does William (Pete Postlethwaite) promises Solomon that his soul will be saved. 

Solomon Kane is written and directed by Michael J. Bassett. He and his staff do a marvelous job of creating a world that is filled with evil and despair, which is in need of a hero. The sets and costumes are well done. The special effects complement the story perfectly, while not being over done. The movie flows smoothly and evenly without any unwanted distractions.

James Purefoy is splendid as Solomon Kane. He displays a wide range of emotions with ease. Purefoy is also quite skilled at using a sword, as he does much of his own stunt-work here. Rachel Hurd-Wood is thoroughly endearing as the damsel-in-distress.

There are some scenes in which the violence does get rather graphic, so younger viewers should be warned. The images of people hanging from trees, burned bodies and a crucifixion scene maybe more than parents want their little children to see.

Solomon Kane is not the first movie inspired by one of Robert E. Howard’s characters. There are, of course, the two popular Conan movies from the early ’80s staring Arnold Schwarzenegger. A new Conan movie has started production and is suppose to be released in 2011 staring Jason Momoa (Stargate: Atlantis) as Conan and directed by Marcus Nispel (Pathfinder).

The other is the horrible 1997 release Kull the Conqueror staring former TV Hercules actor Kevin Sorbo. There is also a Kull remake that is currently in the early stages of development along with at least 3 other Howard related projects.

While Conan is more famous, Michael J. Bassett and his contributors do a great job of opening everyone’s eyes to the exciting tales of Solomon Kane. If you’re looking for the wizardry of Lord of the Rings with the fearsome battles of Braveheart, Solomon Kane is for you.

Solomon Kane is currently available online for viewing. Click on the movie screen below to see its trailer.