Solomon Kane

solomonkane_posterI found Solomon Kane, mostly, to be a good film. It never reaches great, but it’s a real shame that it never got the chance to run theatrically here in the US. It has all the elements of a February release, and I feel it could have been a modest sleeper hit had anyone given it a chance. It suffers a bit from not-so-special SFX, but even that doesn’t detract from the story that unfolds over the course of this film. Created by the great Robert E. Howard(see: Conan The Barbarian), I imagine it was hard to adapt this story from book to screen. I didn’t get the true sense of WHY the devil would want Solomon’s soul, and while I found the horror aspects to it intriguing, I just felt like it rushed through the beginning. That said, it’s not a storyline that is overly complex. Solomon does a lot of bad in a short amount of time, the devil wants his soul, he escapes, finds temporary reprieve from his past, only to be forced into action that will bring him head to head with his destiny. The hero’s journey. Has it been done many times? Sure. Has it been done better? Yeah. But is Solomon Kane still worth seeing? Absolutely. It could have become pretty stale pretty fast, but the filmmakers picked the right man to lead this thing. James Purefoy is not a huge movie star, but he endears Solomon with enough likability to make me wish he had become Van Helsing instead of Hugh Jackman. In fact, that is what kept popping into my head the whole movie…how much this is the movie Van Helsing should have been. There is darkness throughout this thing. Just pure evil that’s taking over the world. And it’s up to Solomon Kane to vanquish it. If you like twists and turns, I can’t say they aren’t telegraphed a bit, but they are in there. The action is solid. I don’t know the source material, but I found some elements of the plot convenient, just to make them seem more poignant. Aside from less than par visual effects, the make-up was terrific. The design of The Masked Rider was grotesque and a bit unsettling. All in all, this was a very straightforward film that left me satisfied, but not exactly worth jumping over the moon about. If it had had a Hollywood budget, people would talk about this movie in the same breath of other fantasy/horror classics. As it stands, it’s a good film. Just not quite great. It’s worth checking out at least once, just so you can see that capable films can be made outside the studio system. And sometimes, they turn out better than $200 million dollar wastes of everybody’s talent.

JB Written by:

Joshua has been an avid fan of movies since he first saw Indiana Jones escape that rolling boulder and resoundingly punch Nazis to death. Forever wrestling with the notion of "why" in movies, he believes there is such a thing as "A Perfect Film."