Thursday, December 31, 2015

Solomon Kane (2009)

Solomon Kane is based on Robert E. Howard's pulp magazine character. Robert E. Howard is creator of Conan the Barbarian. Solomon Kane is Puritan living late 16th century. Like in Conan magic, witches and demons are real. Solomon Kane has Christian themes when Conan had Crom who favored strength.

Solomon Kane is mercenary who has done evil during his career. Life and death doesn't mean anything to him until demon tries to claim his soul. Solomon Kane escapes to monastery to hide from demons. Monks let him stay for a while until darkness gets too thick and they send him back home. Solomon Kane has given up violence because it would damn his soul to hell.

It is not big surprise that world forces Solomon Kane back to way of the violence. Non-violence part slows the movie. You just wait it to end. This is dark action movie after all. There is another non-violent moment when Solomon Kane thinks he has lost his change to save his soul. Rather than fighting evil he let evil to crucify him. All this religious imagery and themes start to be too much at this point.

After Solomon Kane realizes he can still save his soul he starts to fight again. Why not trying to stay alive as long as possible if he knew he was going to hell. It is hard to relate to hero whose motives you don't understand. Hero's motives are not only things hard to understand. Same applies to other characters too. None of the characters have reasonable character arcs. It is hard to relate or care when you don't understand motives. When you think you understand characters do something unexpected.

I expected Solomon Kane to be cool dark gothic action movie. It is dark and violent but not cool. Solomon Kane whines too much about his lost soul, Movie is good example why you should not spend whole movie to tell origin story. Solomon Kane becomes interesting character only after he has won the villain. This was not only issue movie had. It didn't reward audience any way. It just threw new characters instead of developing existing characters or story arcs.

Solomon Kane was meant to be first part of trilogy. It was box office bomb which ended the trilogy after the first movie. Movie is bad but it had potential. Solomon Kane became less whiny at the end and might have worked better in sequels.

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