Conan the Destroyer
THE STORY: I'll admit it. I played a little Dungeons and Dragons back in High School. Not a lot...but I did play some. Its actually kind of fun. That's how I got the idea that this movie was made to cater to the crowd that was into that game. We have the barbarian, the wizard, the thief, etc. The Thief, Malik, even uses the same attack that D&D thieves do! What a co-inky-dink! I don't think so.
Conan, the mighty barbarian and his companion, Malik are confronted by Queen Karamis of Shadazar. Karamis wants Conan to do her a favor. She promises him that she'll use her magic powers to bring Conan's lost love, Valeria, back to life if Conan agrees.
The task sounds simple. Take Karamis' niece, Jenna on a quest. Somewhere it was written that Jenna is the only one that can get certain magic items. With these items Karamis hopes to reawaken her god, Dagoth. The items are a big diamond and a jeweled horn. Conan agrees. He's horny enough that he wants Karamis to bring back a dead chick. Conan gets his wizard friend Akiro, and a warrior woman named Zula to help.
Karamis sends her chief henchman, Bombatta along to guard Jenna. the first task is to get the diamond from a powerful wizard. When the party invades the wizards castle he uses some mirrors to become a big pickle man. (He reminded me of pickles) Of course Conan defeats him and the crew take the diamond and flee. Along the way they are attacked by some of Karamis' men. When Conan defeats them, Bombatta attacks him, but backs off when Jenna gets in the way. You see, Karamis ordered Bombatta to snuff Conan once Jenna has the items. After that Jenna will be sacrificed to Dagoth. Neither Jenna or Conan know this...but you think they would have gotten a whack from the clue stick.
Next...the jeweled horn. Though its protected by a whole gaggle of rather ineffectual guardians, Conan and his friends get it. But during their escape Bombatta backstabs them. He seals them in a tunnel and makes off with Jenna. Conan and friends dig their way out. That's when Conan realizes that he's been had. Now Conan is kind of upset. He knows that Jenna will be sacrificed. (the wizard Akiro read some mumbo jumbo in the horn's crypt and told him) Conan and his band race to Shadazar to save her. They sneak into the city via the secret underground duct that's required in all Sword and Sorcery movie castles.
But are they in time? Of course they can't save Jenna until the absolute last minute. They certainly can't save her until Conan has killed Bombatta for his betrayal. But they do save her....only not before Karamis and her high priest have awakened Dagoth. Dagoth is back and boy is he pissed! Something about the rules states that if Dagoth doesn't get his sacrifice he'll be extremely cheesed off. So Dagoth becomes a big lizard monster and starts killing people, including Karamis. Conan attacks him, but is getting his ass whooped. Akiro shouts to him that if he rips the horn out of Dagoth's head, Dagoth will die. Using all of his mighty muscle and the appropriate theme music Conan rips the horn away. Dagoth, helpless, dies. Gods sure were easy to beat back then, huh?
With Karamis dead, Jenna assumes the throne. She appoints Zula, Malik and Akiro to her court. Then she asks Conan to rule at her side as king. Like a really big dummy he turns her down. Conan then rides out to seek adventure on his own.
Its hard to fault this flick, It wasn't as good as some of the old Conan comic books, but its fun to watch. Its certainly not as good as the first Conan movie. I think that disappointed a lot of Conan fans. It disappointed me. I read the original Conan stories back in college. While they ain't no masterpieces of modern literature, they are entertaining. I wish this movie was more like those stories, but I don't hate this movie. As I said...its fun to watch. Conan was played by yours truly, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Zula was Grace Jones. Bombatta was Wilt "the stilt" Chamberlain. Akiro was played by Mako....I've seen him in a ton of movies and can't name one of them. The same goes for Malik, who was actor Tracy Walters. Olivia D'Abo played Jenna. She's pretty but I don't recall seeing her in anything else. Star Trek fans will note that Jeff Corey was Karamis' high Priest...he was also the boss guy in the original Trek episode the Cloudminders. Karamis herself was actress Sarah Douglas.
Best Lines: "How can I? how many times have I seen a man? A real man? all I've seen is you."- When Jenna asks Bombatta if he thinks Conan is handsome, he asks why she can't judge for herself. This is her answer. Oh, that's gotta hurt!
"Who cares what sister's brother's cousin it is? What difference does it make?"- Zula yells at Akiro and Malik about an argument over Malik's cousin's sister's brother.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?:
1.) The townspeople cheer Conan as he comes in. Zula knows who Conan is even though he didn't tell her when he cut her loose from the villagers. How the hell does everyone know who this guy is!? Is he featured regularly in Barbarian Weekly or something? There's no TV or newscaster or photographs yet everyone seems to know who Conan is and what he looks like!
2.) Why do Karamis' men attack Conan and try to kidnap Jenna right after they get the big diamond? Jenna still has to get the jeweled horn! I thought the whole idea was to get Conan, Jenna and the others to do the dirty work and then kill them?
3.) Foreshadowing....this movie was made more than a decade ago, but Bombatta tries to bite off Conan's ear when they have their battle royal. I wonder if Mike Tyson ever saw this flick?
4.) Its never been clear to me why Karamis needs Conan for this mission. Doesn't she have other warriors that are loyal to her other than Bombatta? She must! Conan can't be the only barbarian! (If there weren't other barbarians around he'd be called "Conan the really big tough dude") Then again, Bombatta isn't a very good assassin. He's supposed to kill Conan when his usefulness is over. Why doesn't he just kill Conan when the group is camping out after defeating the wizard? Conan is passed out drunk! Zula is wounded! Malik is definitely no match for him and Akiro, while possibly dangerous (because he's got magic) is an old man! Bombatta could have whacked them all then took Jenna to get the horn. Yeah, the guardians of the horn might have wiped them out, but Bombatta already tried to kill Conan earlier than this. (Which makes Conan none too smart....why get drunk enough to pass out while camping with a man who tried to kill you earlier?)
NUDITY AND SEX: None
HUH?: When Conan fights the queens guards (just before Bombatta attacks him) he does some fancy sword swingin'. He twirls it around, even behind his back! Its hilarious! I guess we can say Conan was just showing off, but its funny to watch.
It seems that EVERYONE knows how dangerous this Dagoth guy is, yet no one involved in his resurrection says "Hey this might be a [unwrite]ed up idea. I mean, its written that Dagoth will like, kill everyone and basically bring about hell on earth." What the hell is wrong with these people?
If the keepers of the horn wanted to keep it why didn't they act BEFORE Conan and his buddies stole it?
THE TALLY: This is definitely a "sit down with some popcorn and enjoy the ride" movie. Entertaining and well done for what it is. A Saturday afternoon escape the real world for awhile flick. As I said, that's a little disappointing for hard core Conan fans...but that doesn't make this movie less enjoyable. Its too bad they didn't make another Conan flick...I really liked this one.