Conan the Barbarian (1982)

In 2019 I came across an Arnold Schwarzenegger speech on YouTube that motivated me to take my gym training to the next level. All these months later, I still listen to it and almost have it memorized by heart. 

The majority of us know who Schewazenegger is, whether it is a career as a bodybuilder, famous actor, or California governor. He will always be remembered at the Terminator more than any other role he’ll ever get, although many would say he’s more famous as Conan the Barbarian.

It may surprise you that I have never seen this movie until yesterday. He often talks about how Conan launched his career and won the part because of his appearance.

I understand that this film was shot in 1982, the year I was born, and that the special effects would be scary to watch. On top of some pretty crazy effects, I didn’t think it would be so weird to watch James Earl Jones play a character without glasses, but that was in there too. 

What really disappointed me was the entire movie. The story of Conan is nothing you haven’t seen before. Young kid witnesses his parent’s murder at the hand of a king then works his way through the ranks to become an amazing gladiator, and after many decades, seeks revenge for his parents. I didn’t realize that this movie was so cookie-cutter from others like it in the genre. 

The acting was another let don since Arnold was just there for his looks. James Earl Jones was just super weird, whether he was giving a speech that made no sense or just making big eyes at people because he could. I can’t believe this guy was only a few years removed from Star Wars and ended up in a project like this. 

Almost forty years later, people can look back and admire how far Arnold has come as an actor. I can appreciate the effort he took back in the day to be the “barbarian” and how awesome this film may have been in 1982. Watching one of his most significant films in 2020 just didn’t appeal to me.

Shortly into the film, I lost interest in the story and acting, and nothing that happened on the screen begged me to come back. I can’t repeat enough how disappointed I was that a film that was so hyped and it just didn’t pan out for me. 2/10

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