Director: Michael J. Bassett
Cast: James Purefoy, Max von Sydow, Pete
Postlethwaite, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Ian Whyte
RunTime: 1 hr 44 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: NC-16 (Violence)
Official Website: http://www.solomonkane.com/
Opening Day: 21 October 2010
SOLOMON KANE is a brutally efficient 16th Century killing
Armed with his signature pistols, cutlass and rapier, he and
his men unleash their bloodlust as they fight for England
in war after war on all continents.
the story opens, Kane and his band of pillagers are carving
a bloody path through hordes of defenders in an exotic city
in northern Africa. But when Kane decides to attack a mysterious
nearby castle to plunder its rumored riches, his mission takes
a fateful turn. One by one, Kane’s men are picked off
by demonic creatures until he alone is left to face the Devil’s
own Reaper corrupt soul. Though Kane at last manages to escape,
he knows that he now must redeem himself by renouncing violence
and devoting himself wholly to a life of peace and purity.
newfound spirituality, however, is quickly put to the ultimate
test when he begins his journeys across an England ravaged
by diabolical human Raiders controlled by a terrifying, masked
Overlord. After Kane fails to thwart the brutal slaughter
of the Crowthorns, a Puritan family that has befriended him,
he vows to find and free their enslaved daughter Meredith
-- even if it means jeopardizing his own soul by reembracing
his murderous talents for a higher cause. His determined search
eventually brings him face to face with his family’s
own deadly secrets as he attempts to save Meredith and all
of England from the forces of evil.
If you have to know how Solomon Kane came about, he is a fictional character that was created in the 16th century, published on pulp magazines. “Solomon Kane” is set to first of the trilogy and explains the origin of Captain Kane.
From the first second of the movie, we are invited to watch the brutality of Captain Kane, who was in search of greater wealth and treasures set in some part Africa. It was a good start as it was very jam-packed and that captures a viewer’s attention. However, this was not very well followed after, when the turning point of Solomon Kane occurred and ended up at a secluded church.
Following, the life of Solomon in search of his own legend was depicted. As you observe his journey, one may observe that the 16th century setting was sharp and accurate, giving viewers a flavour of how it was like in the past. Unbelievably true, every fabric and artefact was well prepared and suits the overall atmosphere of the movie; which is rather solemn and slow-moving.
However then, Solomon Kane was challenged once again. This time, the sword-and-fight scenes were significantly different from the opening one, because he struggled to kill. As compared to the former where he killed simply for pleasure and self-serving desires, you can observe that Solomon Kane was significantly shaken, and it was a good display of James Purefoy’s acting. For those who are used to watching Chinese “wushu” action, you may find this fight choreography a lot less appealing because a lot less effort is placed on elegance. Yes, it effectively depicts brutality, but the crucial point is just to kill, as fast as possible, hassle-free. As expected, these scenes were bloody and muddy. Good thing that they were mixed together and you cannot tell which is which. This in turn suits the overall bleak tone of the movie.
Throughout the movie, the sword fights and special effects employed were pretty well done. It does not exactly have the “wow” factor, nor is it the if-you-don’t-watch-you’re-missing-out kind of movie. This is probably due to the lack of mass appeal, meaning it only appeals to a specific audience group. Also, the budget for the movie does not match the quality of special effects and combat scenes. Estimating from the film’s budget, one will definitely expect more.
Another plus point of the movie is that it was well paced. Of course this is owing to award winning director Michael J. Bassett, the veteran director of fantasy films. He has also beautifully framed certain scenes, of which the one that Solomon Kane sets out alone to search for his purpose being very impressionable. The horseback sequences which are tedious to capture are also well done and adds on to the overall viewer’s experience as it heightens the mood.
Though the movie does not belong to the blockbuster category and fail to be epic, nonetheless still an enjoyable movie with thought-provoking messages embedded within.
“There are many paths to redemption, not all of them peaceful.”
(Seemingly epic, but it’s not going to satisfy one’s insatiable appetite for good movies!)
Review by Tho Shu Ling