Thursday, August 28, 2014
Kull The Conquered!
Kull the Conqueror is not a very good movie. Despite adapting two of Robert E. Howard's best stories ("By this Axe I Rule!" and the novel The Hour of the Dragon) it is short on story, atmosphere, energy, action and ultimately cash.
Kevin Sorbo was fresh from his success as TV's Hercules when he was tapped to play the Atlantean usurper Kull. At moments in this movie he's convincing, but mostly he's not and his charms are wasted despite the possibility that physically he's up to the role. Tia Carrerre has flashes of real evil in this one and frankly she's the best thing in it as the monster Akivasha, a sorceress from a distant time intent on destroying the kingdom of Valusia. Some of the lines these folks have to say are pretty hamfisted and they are both better off when they merely glower.
Other folks in the cast are largely wasted in a movie which while it purports to evoke an ancient land seems too full of quirky pop culture references to effectively pull that off. A wretched rock score which pops up when Kull goes into action is woefully misplaced. And the action itself is strictly unconvincing, the choreography painfully evident as the actors parry blows with various and sundry weapons. These movies should be violent, not action-packed and that's a crucial difference.
Having just read The The Hour of the Dragon again, I was struck by some of the plot parallels this time which I'd overlooked on previous viewings, but there's never enough done with any element. This ultimately seems to be a movie that lacks the funding to really offer up a convincing Valusia for Kull to play in. The crowd scenes are barely that, with sound effects which fall miserably short of convincing.
Ultimately it's just sort of boring. And that's the worst thing any movie can be.