Van Helsing+Conan+Connor Macleod = Solomon Kane…
Cast: James Purefoy, Max von Sydow, Pete Postlethwaite & Jason Flemyng
Directed by: Michael J. Bassett
Screenplay by: Michael J. Bassett
A mercenary in the 16th century looks to claim back his soul by fighting the very evil he once was apart of.
Before he created Conan, Pulp writer Robert E. Howard conjured up Solomon Kane – a bloodthirsty, 16th century antihero – way back in the 20’s. Now in 2010, Kane finally makes his cinematic bow in the form of James Purefoy. Just like the Conan movies, Solomon Kane wholly relies on the performance of its protagonist. And boy does Purefoy deliver, bringing plenty of charisma, nailing the angst of the character and when required wholly convincing as a badass killing machine.
In fact, everything about Solomon Kane harks back to the days of Conan and Highlander, from the bloody fight scenes through to the gloomy, rain infested visuals. Fans of such films will lap it up completely. This is pure swords-and-sorcery fantasy through and through. It’s just a slight shame Michael J. Bassett’s screenplay never makes any attempt to leave its comfort zone, say like last year’s brilliant Outlander.
The likes of Max von Sydow and Pete Postlethwaite are thrown in to add some weight to the supporting line-up. But equally there is some poor casting with Jason Flemyng not exactly the most threatening villain for this kind of dark material. Mackenzie Crook somewhat pointlessly shows up late in the game as well.
Michael J. Bassett directing from his own script may not pull off anything particularly eye-catching when it comes to the action scenes but they are handled effeciently and there is a real old-school vibe to them. So when some dodgy CG intervenes late on, it can’t help but feel out of place and perhaps could have been avoided. However, Solomon Kane is a film that does exactly what it says on the tin and is therefore hugely enjoyable.