Saturday, 11 September 2010

Solomon Kane decides against peaceful protest

Solomon Kane is understandably quite annoyed. His soul has been sold to the devil without his knowledge and now he's in a bit of trouble. So he renounces his violent ways and goes to live with some kindly monks, with all the swamps and crows of Medieval England. He has become a 'man of peace'. Except that, given the right set of circumstances, he'll be very violent indeed. When some evil hordes do bad things to nice people, he goes on a murderous rampage. It's a muddy adventure through grey forests and ruined towns, a bit like a mini-Lord of the Rings. I say mini, but this is actually an impressive film. The world is convincing and the hero gruffly entertaining. Action heroes are always best when they want revenge - unstoppable, brutal, uncompromising revenge. James Purefoy sums it up brilliantly with the line: 'If I kill you I will be bound for hell. That is a price I will gladly pay'. Yes. Well done. In fact he's full of good of lines. When he says 'Let not one of these putrid heathens live', I don't want any of the putrid heathens to live. You won't get him to smile but you can count on him to put a sword in the right place. Even if the Big Bad does look like he fell asleep on a newspaper, he can summon fire demons that live in mirrors. Big fire demons who love to smash pillars, so it's definitely not a good idea to hide behind them. And there's flashbacks to Kane's past family life that may or may not be relevant. It all adds up.

It's a film that does conventional things. There's a damsel in a distress and an evil sorcerer in a castle. But it does these things powerfully and with complete conviction. This sort of thing can be done well without lasting three hours. One man on a quest to defeat evil and everything falls into place. I think it slipped through cinemas without anybody noticing, despite picking up good reviews. It's a film that deserves attention. It's an origin story, like the recent Robin Hood film, but doesn't outstay its welcome. Solomon Kane gets the job done.


  1. I wish I were gruffly entertaining.

  2. Thanks, I missed this one.
    But what will ever beat

    "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."