TIFF Review: Solomon Kane

Solomon Kane
Written and Directed by Michael J. Bassett
Starring: James Purefoy, Pete Postlethwaite, Max Von Sydow and Rachel Hurd-Wood


For those of you not familiar with Solomon Kane as a character, here’s a quick lesson:  Robert E. Howard, the legendary creator of Conan the Barbarian, created Solomon Kane back in the pulp-era.  A 16th century Puritan, with a sombre outlook.  A valiant leader and fighter armed with a rapier, a dagger and two flintlock pistols, pale skin, cold eyes, dressed in black, shadowed by a slouch hat.

Solomon Kane was once a man of pure evil.  Killing and stealing as he pleased.  But this life of pillaging and plundering in North Africa in the late 1500’s has got the attention of the Devil and the Devil has layed claim to Solomon Kane’s tortured and lost soul.  The only way for him to save his soul is to redeem himself, forget his past and take on a life of peace.  That, however, does not last.

After leaving North Africa and heading home to England, Solomon takes up residence in a church to begin his inner healing process.  Forced to leave as his past is revealed, he is welcomed into a traveling family of good-hearted people and joins them on their journey.  Sadly, it is discovered that England is in trouble.  An evil sorcerer has built a demonic army and is destroying town after town.  Enslaving the good citizens or leaving them with death and destruction.  When the army attacks the good family that Solomon has taken up with, he renounces the good in him and takes up the fight to avenge them and rescue their kidnapped daughter.

I didn’t come into this with any expectations as I had never read anything about the character or any stories about him for that matter.  Come to think of it, I’ve never read anything by Robert E. Howard.    The main problem I had with this movie was that it was boring.  It follows a familiar path that never adds anything new.    Lost soul that finds the error of his ways?  I’ve seen that a hundred times.  It’s a story criticsim and in an era of film making that is jam-packed with re-boots and remakes, I need a little more than that.

In Solomon Kane, you get your swash-buckling fix.  Sword fights and bloodshed aplenty.  James Purefoy’s Solomon has a little more depth than Ahnuld’s Conan, but the style and themes are the same.  Director Michael J.  Bassett doesn’t bring anything to the screen that we haven’t seen before and Solomon Kane turns out to be typical fare of the genre. – Greg

SCORE: 1 stars

  • Slushie Man

    Hmmm, your score doesn’t really match up with your review, IMO. But then again, I guess that’s a problem with the 4-Star system, but still, I think 2/4 would fit better with the words in your review as to me, Typical doesn’t mean bad, it means average.

  • Slushie Man

    Oh, nevermind. I just read on another post that you don’t really care for giving a score and only do it cause you have to. I guess you can ignore my comment then, lol.

  • BigHungry

    I had high hopes for this one.

  • Reed-tard

    This wasn’t a review in my opinion. You never come with any points that says why you didn’t like the movie, or why you did like it. It’s too short…-

  • Mh… your “review” is more off a summary with a dashing opinion at the end about the quality with no real evidence of what you actually dislike about it, because you compare it to Conan The Barbarian a wonderfull classic of the fantasy genre and surely not a 1 star movie, so… what is the problem with this one?

  • Greg

    Hmm, seems something went amiss with my copy and paste performance here. There’s a whole paragraph missing. I’m not sure how I missed that. I may need to re-write this.

  • Greg

    This is the proper post. Sorry about that.

  • modesilver

    Well it’s not just this review Greg. I found your other reviews contain more info about the plot and less about how you actually felt about the movie. Tip the scale the other way buddy ;)

  • bullet3

    Well the general opinion outside Greg’s on this movie has been very positive. I think Greg’s just not really a fan of these kinds of fantasy genre movies (judging by many of the reviews I’ve seen him give). As previously mentioned, you blame it for straying to close to Conan the Barbarian, but that movie’s an absolute classic, so that’s not much of a criticism.

  • Greg

    I only compared Purefoy to the Governator. I never compared the movie to Conan. I love Conan the Barbarian.

    I appreciate the constructive criticism, but reviews really aren’t my thing anyway. They aren’t easy to write for me and you’re right that they aren’t very good. Sean suggested I write some and of course I’m happy to oblige. Jay and Sean are the pros at writing reviews.

    I do the best that I can and it’s unfortunate that I can’t please everyone. I’ll try to write a couple more and if they get a thumbs down, I’ll hang up my review pen.

    Thanks for reading and your posts.

  • Kasper

    I really enjoy your writing Greg, though you excel at the more entertainment minded stuff and less at writing dry and focused review stuff. I’d love to see more articles from you in the future ala Greg At The Movies or something of the sort, because your TIFF reports are excellent and very entertaining, you’re a good storyteller.