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.

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4 comments:

  1. "These movies should be violent" - well, the 2011 Conan movie was violent and that was deeply disappointing AND boring.

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    1. There are things about the most recent Conan movie I didn't like but I have to respectfully disagree that it was boring. I rather enjoyed large sections of it.

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  2. As a big Kull (and Conan) fan I was really disappointed in that film, very tame it just looked to me like it was being used as a vehicle for Kevin Sorbo ( who I liked in Hercules) had the ring of a straight to video type film about it. I enjoyed the recent Conan movie but can see why others may not have . I still think there's a lot of untapped potential in these characters that still hasn't been realised yet (although I have to say I loved the first 2 Conan movie )

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    1. I agree that this movie seemed more about Sorbo than Howard, and that was to its detriment. The lack of funds really hampers the manner in which the setting could be developed. It just looks cheaply done with unconvincing sets and the overuse of existing castle sets.

      Disappointment. I love the first Conan movie, a real hummer. The second is a big let down sadly, but still better than the Kull movie.

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