September 3, 2012

Solomon Kane (2009/2012)

Here's my thing; why are they releasing this movie now? Filmed in 2008, and finished early in 2009, Solomon Kane has sat on a shelf looking for distribution ever since. It's available on DVD and Blu-ray in some parts of the world, while we here in the U.S. have had to import it if we wanted to see it.

Now, Solomon Kane has finally found a U.S. distributor, but why a Theatrical Release three years later?

The only thing we can think of is that the Weinstein's figured "Hey, let's try to squeeze some money out of it" since it's just sitting there gathering dust."

Whatever the deal is, at least the movie turned out to be rather enjoyable, even if it is flawed in many places.

We first saw Solomon Kane a few years ago, but I suppose now a review seems to be more relevant. Not really sure why we waited...

Solomon Kane is a bloodthirsty, plundering rogue, who loves to conquer things and kill people, and also steal treasures. He's basically a pirate. While on one of his plundering missions, he finds himself elbow-deep in a pile of gold when the Devil's Reaper shows up (his own personal reaper, mind you), and says that Kane's soul is damned to Hell because he's been such a bad boy.

"I didn't chooseth the thug life, the thug life choseth me!"
After narrowly escaping eternal damnation, Solomon runs off and hides amongst a bunch of monks, disavowing violence and greed, thinking that living the pious life will save his soul. They eventually tell him to piss off because he's too dangerous to live with, and so once again, he's on the run. He comes across a traveling family who takes him in, and through their good nature which beams from their innocent hearts, he learns how to love again...

... until most of them are slaughtered and their sweet daughter enslaved. Nice one, Solomon.
It's not long before Solomon says "soul be damned!" and sets off to rescue the kidnapped girl and avenge her dead pappy and such. I mean, he really has to, because he's the one that got them all messed up to begin with. No wonder the monks kicked him out. As you can imagine, all sorts of vengeance ensues.

Look out behind you!
Solomon Kane, Black Death, Ironclad, Season of the Witch, Outlander, Valhalla Rising... There's been a rebirth of sorts for the Medieval genre of late, each movie involved bringing their own special touches to the table. With Solomon Kane, we get a solid action flick with a supernatural bent, that boasts some cool looking monsters and SFX. We're particularly fond of the Devil's Reaper ourselves, and it's a shame that he wasn't in more of the movie.

He should have his own movie.
This movie has a nice supernatural feel to it, even if it's mostly played for its cool visuals and set pieces. Zombies, Witches, Demons, and Monsters of all sorts... the world of Solomon Kane is jam-packed with the thing of nightmares.

I am personally not the biggest fan of James Purefoy; he's a great actor, and I really have no reason not to like him, he just always rubs me the wrong way for some reason. In this movie though, I actually enjoyed watching him for a change. I have no idea why, so don't ask.

Is he casting a spell?
Solomon Kane as a whole was pretty good, but in certain places along the way it felt flat, as if there wasn't enough going on. It could just be our imaginations of course, but the whole thing just felt a bit uneven. I cant say why, either. Maybe it was simpler than we had hoped, and it could have delved a little deeper into the dark and bloody stuff... maybe it was just how the movie was edited.

...and then there's this guy. What's his deal?
The movie felt a bit rushed also. It barely established Solomon Kane as a nefarious bad man whose soul deserves eternal damnation, as well as Satan's personal attention, when all of a sudden he's repentant and living amongst monks. Then he's all like "my soul be damned, lets fight!," like his whole pious act was a big fake-out.

The bad guys in the movie are just kinda there, doing their bad guy stuff, and we never really knew why. As for the evil wizard behind it all, he doesn't even show up until the movie is almost over, and then doesn't do much. There were just a lot of characters and plot elements that weren't established very well here, rather they just either simply existed or showed up to give Solomon a bunch of antagonists to fight. Too much going on at once, that's the issue.

What are you even here for?
Solomon Kane is a fun and enjoyable Medieval romp, packed with plenty of cool-looking creatures and violence... so why has it been hiding from us for so long? Probably because it was a bit of a mess and they couldn't figure out how to market the thing. Still, it's is a pretty fun movie, and if you can just take it for what it is on the surface and not nitpick, you should be pleased with it.


Rachel Hurd-Wood is a British Hottie who needs to be in more movies, especially those of the Horror persuasion.

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