He joins up with a family of Puritans on their way to the New World, but it's not long before Kane's devotion to his new lifestyle is put to the test. Hordes of followers of an evil sorcerer named Malachi (Jason Flemyng) are pillaging England, and when they attack Kane's band of travelers and kidnap the young Meredith (Rachel Hurd-Wood), he's forced to toss the whole pacifism thing out the window in order to get her back. As a bonus, Kane is convinced that if he brings Meredith back to her family, his do-gooding will redeem his soul and save him from Hell. But is he right?
The End Result
Reportedly, writer-director Michael J. Bassett, whose previous two films were the excellent under-the-radar horror flicks Deathwatch and Wilderness, himself isn't sure why Solomon Kane was delayed for so long. It's no classic, but it's certainly as good as most wide theatrical genre releases these days. My guess is that it was just too hard a sell: it lacks a big star; the titular character, created by Conan the Barbarian author Robert E. Howard, is not widely known; its genre is a muddled hybrid of action and horror; and it lacks the spectacular set pieces -- say, the massive battle scene of an historical epic or the effects-laden action sequence of a blockbuster -- around which trailers are built. There are only a couple of big CGI-dominated scenes in Solomon Kane -- one near the beginning and one near the end -- and in both cases, the effects are mediocre.
That said, the plentiful fight scenes are engaging and bloody, but given the limited window of opportunity available to convince someone to see your movie, Solomon Kane was fighting an uphill battle.
- Acting: B- (Solid all around.)
- Direction: B- (Good at handling both action and drama, with a touch of horror.)
- Script: C (Unoriginal and predictable, but sincere.)
- Gore/Effects: C+ (Ample bloody violence, but some of the larger CGI effects look cheap.)
- Overall: C+ (Nothing groundbreaking or earth-shattering, but dark and violent with a flair for drama.)
Solomon Kane is directed by Michael J. Bassett and is rated R by the MPAA for violence throughout. Release date: September 28, 2012.