Friday, September 27, 2013

Film Review: Solomon Kane (2009)

Solomon Kane (Review)
France/United Kingdom/Czech Republic/2009
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...the touch of darkness and great action make this a refreshing and engaging visit."

Sea Captain Solomon Kane (James Purefoy) is damned for hell by the Devil's Reaper, but escapes into solitude and ends up in a monastery. As he attempts to lead a peaceful life, Solomon Kane is forced to fight once again -- this time, for redemption.

Solomon Kane is a fantasy adventure which, of course, follows the titular character as he seeks redemption. To save himself, Solomon Kane will have to save a young women he had befriended but had been captured by the Devil's forces. His journey will lead him through legions of evil forces in burnt down villages, abandoned churches, small enemy camps, and will ultimately lead him to his own nightmares. The ending is about what you'd expect, but epic, nonetheless, and fulfilling.

Solomon Kane doesn't strive to be much more than what we've previously seen -- and that's okay. Yeah, it's not original or creative, but it's action-packed, thrilling, and covered in a dark atmosphere that many fantast films purposefully avoid. If you're looking for action, Solomon Kane delivers tenfold; if you're looking for fantasy, albeit not very creative, there are plenty of villainous characters with ominous designs. It does lose momentum about an hour in due to repetitiveness, but it regains some for its finale. Solomon Kane is a been-there-done-that film, but if you haven't been there recently, the touch of darkness and great action make this a refreshing and engaging visit.

James Purefoy plays Solomon Kane and really embodies the character -- he can be emotional one scene, and send chills down your spine with his ferocious power and anger during another. The special effects and makeup are great through most of the film; there are, however, a few scenes that the special effects are blatantly out of place. The action choreography is good, but they are very safe and by-the-books; the swordfights can be brutal and engaging, but lack realism and risk. Michael J. Bassett crafts a dark atmosphere for this fantasy epic with his great direction.

Overall, Solomon Kane is a great fantasy action-adventure film; you've likely seen a story very similar, and you won't see much new, but the lead is fantastic, the atmosphere is unique and immersive, and the action sequences are engaging and consistent. Generally, Solomon Kane is a great way to kill a night.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore.

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