Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Delayed (Film) Review: Solomon Kane

For once, I'm not to blame for the delay!  Solomon Kane was a new release in the U.S. via Netflix about two weeks ago, despite being made in 2009.  Apparently Europe got their grubby, Euro-filled hands on it in 2010!  First you try to force us to care about Soccer and now this!  So what is the film about?  Well, it's based on a very old, very often emulated tale of a hero named Solomon Kane.  His job: hunting and killing witches.  It does make me wonder- are we getting it on DVD now because of the Hansel & Gretel film?  If so, why not title it Solomon Kane: Witch Hunter?  It would be cheap, but accurate.  In any case, it is the only film that I can think of that is actually about Kane, which makes it kind of special.  Obviously, the people that sat on the DVD for four years before sending it to America thought otherwise!  This was clearly a series starter as it rushes through his origin and right into his first adventure.  The story is left open for future installments...but I find that unlikely.  Will you be disappointed at that fact or happy?  To find out, read on...
Somewhere in Spain, the titular Kane is fighting for fortune.  He's damn good too, often toying with his lesser opponents.

He's so bad-ass that even he walks into a room full of ghosts leaping out of mirrors, he pushes on.
Unfortunately, all of his men are killed and he faces off with some sort of Demon.  It says that he must pay with his soul to fulfill the 'contract.'  Desperate, our hero flees for his life (and soul).
The film abruptly cuts to One Year Later and we see that he has been hiding out in a Church.  However, the Pastor tells that he must leave and find his destiny.
After a series of time-lapse transitions, he runs across some ruffians and refuses to fight them.  He's found later by a family of Puritans led by...Pete Postlethwaite.  Wow, this sure is awkward.
Throughout the film, we see flashbacks to Kane's early life.  Basically, he had a bad break with Papa (a really good Actor) and left to kill people.  He liked that.
The bad guy is a man in a creepy mask that never talks.  Oh and his skin is made of flesh.

He's basically the hybrid of Leatherface and the villain in every Fantasy-Action Film ever.  There's also a somewhat-obvious twist to him, which I won't SPOIL.
After some bad stuff happens, Kane suits up and goes to take care of the bad guys.  That buckle hat was all the rage back then!
A whole bunch of action and bad things (that I won't SPOIL) happen, leaving Kane not feeling too well.
In spite of that, he shows up for the final battle against Mask Guy aka Malachi.  Will he win?  I won't SPOIL it, in case you live in American and actually want to watch this like it's 'new.'  The End.
This Kane doesn't like to set people on fire for a change.  Honestly, it's not bad.  The best way to describe the film is that it is a well-made, but average movie.  The story is good, but nothing that you haven't seen before.  I do applaud their commitment to building up certain ideas (e.c. Kane not wanting to fight) for a while.  There are moments when the drama starts to turn silly.  One bit seems like it is going to end with a giant 'NOOOO' with Kane shouting at 'the Heavens.'  It doesn't, but it still is silly.  The mix of real history and fake history is a bit confusing.  People were killing others for being Witches...while there actual were Witches.  On that note, why does fire not kill that one Witch?  I guess it's to sell the 'Not everything you read' is right bit, since Blade and Scream did it.  Ultimately though, there's no point to it.  There's no callback to them unsuccessfully burning a Witch or anything.  If you can get past the awkwardness of seeing Postlethwaite here (as the film was made around 2009), the Acting is good.  I really bought into Purefoy and the others for the most part.  There's an odd balance of 'big action set-piece' and 'Period Drama' that they handle pretty well here too.  In summary, check Kane out if you weren't one of the people over in Europe who got in three years ago.  It may not be ground-breaking, but it certainly didn't deserve to sit in a Vault for so long.  The same thing happened to Cabin in the Woods too- what's up with that?!?  Hey Bird-Faced Guys, what's the deal?
Next up, I actually listened to Maynard for once and re-watched a film.  Will a dead Author be proud or continue to be disappointed in all of the films based on his works?  Stay tuned... 

1 comment:

  1. Answering your bird-mask question by stealing shamelessly from Imdb:

    "These guys are doctors. Those masks are primitive breathing masks used by the doctors during the Renaissance era to prevent getting the plague themselves. They would stuff the beak with dried flowers and herbs to cover or block bad smells." :)