Adventure, Fantasy, Bloody Fights and Evil Things
Rating: 4 out of 5
If you enjoy kick-butt adventure films, this movie is one to see. If it wasn’t for posted movie reviews like the one you are reading now, I would have never heard of Solomon Kane. The story starts with a punch and ends with a punch; there’s little to no wasted time in between. It is bloody without being a gore film. There are plenty of fight scenes and a few surprises along the way for our hero to discover. Yes, there is the usual girl to be rescued – but not as the typical love interest. Yes we have our traditional bad guys, but with a twist that you will have to discover yourself. And finally, a bit of CGI special effects that you would expect whenever demons play into a story. Fortunately, the CGI effects are not critical to the story because they are probably the weakest element of the film.
This is what I call a big bowl of popcorn movie. You might want something for your jaw and teeth to gnaw on so they don’t grind and clench too much during the action.
Starring: James Purefoy, Max von Sydow, Rachel Hurd-Wood, and Pete Postlethwaite.
James Purefoy plays our hero with a shady past. His performance is great in this role and he is the ultimate reason the film works. The writing and script for the story maybe formulary at times; however, Purefoy’s acting still makes you pay attention and wait for the next line and action, even when you already know what’s next. In many ways, his tough-guy, no frills, tortured soul character performance can be compared to Hugh Jackman’s work in The Fountain and X-Men Origins: Wolverine; or that of Sullivan Stapleton in 300: Rise of an Empire. The very end of the story, unfortunately, doesn’t live up to everything that Purefoy’s character is put through. The ending could have been better, but it at least brought closure to some of the mystery; and, it opens the door to a sequel. Ending the movie in this way is only appropriate since the Solomon Kane was originally a series of stories first published in the late 1920’s.
Not a Childrens Movie
This is not a film that will appeal to everyone. As a dark adventure fantasy, it might help to compare this film Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, 300, or Lord of the Rings (minus hobbits). It is set in the early 17th century somewhere in North Africa. Solomon Kane, a swashbuckling English mercenary, opens the film in a ruthless and bloody fight to find the typical pile of gold. But this thrilling beginning of the film has more to do with giving the viewer a glimpse of the Kane as a vicious and merciless man and his connection to a demonic entity. This setting of the stage for the story, as it were, is crucial to understanding Kane’s emotional, spiritual and physically punishing journey that begins after the first scene of the movie through to the end of the film.
I don’t want to give any of the story-line away. Every scene is sewn together in such a way that too many hints will spoil it for you.
As I mentioned earlier, if it had not been for a casual search for movies to watch, I’d never have hit on this jewel. It’s not for everyone; it’s not a children’s film, unless your kids are over 14 years of age. The only way I was able to locate a DVD copy of the film was by ordering it through our local library. They did not have it in the inventory; however they were kind enough to locate one and buy it. That made it a benefit for me and all other local residents looking for a free fun-flic to watch. So if you can’t find this online, at your local video store, Redbox Video Rental, or retail store, consider checking with your local library for a copy.