Just as he said he would, Arnold Schwarzenegger came back. I think there’s reason to be excited about anything new that the guy stars in, but let’s face it, he first needs to figure out a way to reprise a large handful of his roles from way back. This, I’m sure, is probably unlikely to happen on the scale that I would prefer, but I’d be willing to call it even if someone could at least manage to get The Legend Of Conan made. I know it would be stellar, and I have 71 reasons that could convince you to be on my side. For now, though, let’s just talk the last entry in the series, Conan The Destroyer.
I love the way the film begins. The story gets set via a voiceover, there’s a quick shot of Conan glistening in the sun, and then it’s off on an adventure! OK, so there’s a little more to it than that, but it’s mostly stuff like Conan punching a horse, Conan punching a camel, or Conan gracefully swinging his sword around (this is not a euphemism). Those are just silly details, though. All you really need to know is that our titular character is told by the Queen (played by Sarah Douglas from Superman II) that she can resurrect his long lost Valeria if he takes her teenage niece, Jehnna (played by Olivia d’Abo from Wayne’s World 2) to retrieve a special jewel. Naturally, this makes Conan’s muscles smile, and he agrees to do what must be done.
From there, to be honest, Conan The Destroyer is a pretty standard fantasy adventure flick. He sets out, shit happens, he completes the quest. The end.
What’s surprising about it, though, is the spotlight isn’t solely on Arnold. Sure, he gets in his fair share of muscle flexing glory, but there’s also a lot of humor and action to be had by the other members of his team, which includes the thief Malek (played by Tracey Walter from Batman), the wizard Akiro (played by Mako from Robocop 3), the warrior Zula (played by Grace Jones from A View To Kill) and Jehnna’s bodyguard, Bombata (played by Wilt Chamberlin from the NBA). I really liked this. I felt as though it kept the film from just being a promotional vehicle for Arnold, and it did well to keep things light and entertaining.
Speaking of Arnold, his acting in Conan The Destroyer isn’t particularly good. There’s a few hints of the on-screen charisma that eventually comes to define him, but here it’s mostly like watching a giant wad of muscles talk and punch things.
One last thing about the movie, there’s a scene that takes place in a forest where Conan battles a bunch of the Queen’s guards. It’s silly and epic, and I just love the way that Arnold eats every moment of it up. If for some reason you decide you only want to spend a few minutes with this flick, then jump straight to here.
So, should you see Conan The Destroyer? Definitely. Just don’t expect the semi-serious tone of Conan The Barbarian.
Useless Conan The Destroyer Fact: Arnold Schwarzenegger put on an additional 10 pounds of muscle for the movie.