Tag: Solomon Kane
DIRECTOR: Michael J. Bassett
STARRING: James Purefoy, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Pete Postlethwaite, Alice Krige, Mackenzie Crook, Max von Sydow, Jason Flemyng
If you like your historical fantasy steeped in mud, rain, blood, fire, steel and black magic, then this is the flick for you. It’s no dumb-arse actioner, though—the title character was created by Robert E. Howard, who also gave us Conan, so there’s a mythic feel to the whole thing. You might even call it epic, with plenty of story packed into the 100-odd minutes.
It is the 1600s and, after a life of murder and plunder, privateer Solomon Kane (Purefoy) is confronted, inside an Ottoman fortress, by a minion of the Devil sent to claim his rotten soul. He narrowly escapes the creature, returns to his native England and seeks refuge in a monastery, renouncing violence and scarifying his body with holy symbols. However, when the Abbot decides the order can no longer harbour him, Solomon is turned out into a country enslaved by the forces of a sorcerer named Malachi (Flemyng). Mugged and left for dead soon after, he is nursed back to health by a puritan family (which includes Hurd-Wood, Postlethwaite and Krige) and begins travelling with them, relishing their gentle ways. Inevitably, Malachi’s forces, led by the mysterious, mind-controlling Masked Rider, attack the group and Kane is forced to choose between watching his new friends die or taking up arms again and thereby ensuring his soul remains damned.
As you can see, the cast is strong, with cool cameos from Crook as a priest with some warped ideas about religion, and von Sydow as Solomon’s estranged father. Purefoy is perfect in his role as a mercenary redeemed, and the same level of care with which the players have been chosen extends to the rest of the movie—the music, CGI, titles, etc. are all above average. As for the DVD extras… they’re only OK, but the deleted scene (a battle the director couldn’t quite squeeze in) and especially the gallery of production art are worth a gander.