Some movies are actual remakes of older films, a straight re telling of a story, for the purpose of updating it for a contemporary audience, making it accessible to a different culture or region). Other reboots are course corrections that are done with the purpose of restarting a franchise. Basically a reset, loyalty to the original story or the film is irrelevant. Then there are re-imaginings, a retelling of a story only in the broadest sense.
Characters and some story elements may be retained, but mainly plot and story have be repurposed.
I know you’re thinking, “Why am I reading an English lesson on definitions?” Well, you’re reading a fantasy comic based film review on a site dedicated to nerds, so just keep it moving…..
So which of these is Conan the barbarian 2011? Well come back to this
The main character is a barbarian name Conan (mind blowing right ??!!) created in a graphic novel, who’s a great warrior, goes on many adventures, pillaging, plundering, battling different warriors, creatures, sorcerers and so forth .
A:Schwarzenegger vs Momoa
Young Arnold was born to play a barbarian. Hulking figure, wild eyed looks and a barely distinguishable accent. Momoa aka Khal Drogo aka Aquaman, has a look all his own as a believable warrior barbarian. As far as Conan the character from the comics, Conan 2011 was a closer adaption.
The plot of both films were similar. Conan as a boy witnesses his village and father murdered by a warlord and grows up to seek revenge. From there the films go in different paths .The 1982 film makes its own origin story for Conan. Young Conan is taken captive and forced into slavery, he grows strong and is sent to the fighting pits where he learns to fight and kill, eventually going on his quest for vengeance. As a film, this origin works. But as comics go, a die-hard fan would call bs. The 2011 version actually sticks to Conan’s origin story from the comic book. He’s born on a battlefield and literally cut from his dying mother’s belly. Also young Conan already is a fierce warrior. Both origins work for their perspective movies.
Conan 2011 has Stephen Lang playing a warlord named Khalar Zym whose mission is to find a pure blood descendant of some ancient race that can be used to activate some b flick movie looking mask to bring back the love of his life from the dead and make Khalar all powerful. Sounds super interesting right? Rose McGowan plays his side kick co villain daughter named Marique, who is a sorceress with daddy incest issues. Both villains never come off as menacing, but that’s more so the writing/direction than the acting .The 1982 Conan has the great James Earl Jones (post Vader pre king of Zamunda as Thulsa Doom; still one of the coolest villain names ever) playing a cult leader/warlord /sorcerer. Basically a badass mfer whose chill factor was on 1,000 every scene he was in.
Both films were action packed. Conan 2011 benefitted from the technological advances of today’s film industry in having an action scene that had rose McGowan’s character conjure an Aztec looking dust demons in a battle with Conan. Even still, 1984 with a lack of today’s CGI still had better action sequences. From Mr. Jones morphing into a giant snake to Conan battling different warriors in the fighting pits.
D: Re-watch ability
Nostalgia aside, Conan 1982 wins this hands down, not because it was a great movie, because it wasn’t. Entertaining? Yes, great? No. Some of the awesome scenes including Conan spinning his sword his trademark move (any 70-80s baby knows what move I’m talking about because you’ve attempted it as many times as Daniel Larussos crane kick), Conan having sex with the witch who turns into some sort of vampire/panther hybrid during, albeit cheesy it was was awesome too, the bad cartoony type spirits that come to try and steal Conan’s body as he’s semi dead (trust me looks even worse than it sounds). Other than the opening fight scene when Conan, as a child, kills several attacking enemies, there is nothing in the entire film I’d want to ever see again. This movie has zero replay value whatsoever. Overall it’s bad. Almost like a made for Syfy Channel bad.
Conan the Barbarian 1982 was the better film, be a long margin. Back to the original question of what type of movie was Conan 2011? It was definitely a remake that wanted to be a reboot. It was made to try and restart the Conan franchise, however it took all the elements of the original 1982 Conan.