Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Conan the Destroyer (1984)

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Conan the Destroyer
Arnold Schwarzenegger's second romp as the mighty warrior Conan proved to be his last, though he does play a Conan-esque character in Red Sonja. Conan the Destroyer is rather different from its predecessor. For one, the character of Conan has already been established and this film marks only one journey on his path to becoming a King. This outing also contains a great deal more humor throughout, some from Conan, much from his thieving sidekick.1 Conan is also more of a team player in this film. While he had three allies in the first film, Conan spends much of this film with five other companions, many of whom are fine warriors in their own right.

The movie follows Conan as he escorts a princess to find a key then horn for a sorceress who hopes to bring her demon god to earth. He works to help her (ignorant of her final motives) as she has promised to return his love from the first movie should he help her. The film has much more of a quest feel to it than the first which was simply a revenge and origin story. In the end, Conan frees another kingdom from an evil despot and sets off on his own once more. Theoretically there would have been a third Conan film to finish his story, but it never happened.

Conan the Destroyer
I originally purchased both Conan films together. While the first was presented in anamorphic widescreen, this DVD was not. As a result, it appeared squished on my TV. While it remained widescreen, the black bars were matted on. In other words, it wasn't optimized for 16:9 televisions. This may not have been something I would have noticed had I not been watching so many movies together with each other. It's unfortunate that the production for the DVD was so low.

Conan the Destroyer is not a movie that one needs to see, however I own it because it came with Conan the Conqueror, I like to be complete in my series ownership, and I like Arnold movies. Check it out if you haven't seen it.

1. His thieving sidekick seems to have been replaced by a white guy. In Conan the Barbarian he was played by a Latino or possibly Filipino... Though it's not the same character, it is interesting they replaced him with a character who is almost entirely the same, but white.

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