Film review: Solomon Kane
SOLOMON KANE (15) DIRECTED BY: MICHAEL J BASSETT STARRING: JAMES PUREFOY, MAX VON SYDOW, PETE POSTLETHWAITE, RACHEL HURD-WOOD, JASON FLEMYNG * *
BASED on a series of stories by Conan creator Robert E Howard, this humourless swords-and-sorcery fantasy from Brit writer/director Michael J Bassett is riper than week-old brie.
Rome's James Purefoy stars as the titular Puritan hero: an amoral killer turned vanquisher of evil who has renounced violence to prevent his soul being damned for all eternity.
Reluctantly cast out from the sanctuary of the church to find his true path in life, his faith is tested when a sorcerer with a grudge against him kidnaps a young girl whose life he has sworn to protect.
The film is clearly made on a tight budget, but Purefoy gamely pours himself into his role, attacking the purple dialogue and muddly, bloody action with the kind of gusto that would be endearing were the film not such a bore.
Pete Postlethwaite and Max von Sydow add additional gravitas, with the latter providing a spiritual link to John Milius's bombastic and entertaining movie version of Conan the Barbarian, but the film fails to take full advantage, possessing neither a sense of its own ridiculousness nor the flat-out propulsive energy that would make concerns about its hokey storyline irrelevant.
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