Movie Review Solomon Kane A Film by Michael J. Bassett
Much has been written about Solomon Kane the movie. Articles for, articles against,
good reviews, fair reviews and bad reviews.
Last Thursday I had the chance to see for myself when it screened at the Toronto
International Film Festival. All I had to go on was the trailer and advance word
from the San Diego Comic Con, as well as comments from those eager to see the film,
those dead set against it, and those seated firmly on the fence.
Solomon Kane is one of the best Sword and Sorcery film I have yet seen, and kudos
must go to Director Michael J. Bassett (Deathwatch, Wilderness) for crafting a film
both dark and solemn. Regardless of the fact it ignores source material from Robert
E. Howard, this is first and foremost a gritty, bleak and grim movie that boasts
excellent production values, competent acting and a rousing music score. What we
finally have is a serious treatment of the genre with no bumbling sidekick, scenes
played for laughs or actors going through the motions. This is the real deal, and
hopefully a standard that subsequent sword and sorcery films could (and should) follow.
And note, I am talking sword and sorcery, and not epic or heroic fantasy.
James Purefoy is solid as Kane, darkly menacing, somber, humourless, and thoroughly
comfortable in the role. Granted, he is not the Kane we expect because of the nature
of the script, but the groundwork is laid for Purefoy to develop the character if
a sequel happens. I had a chance to chat with him after the movie, and he understands
what we Robert E. Howard fans expect, so I for one hope he has the opportunity to
deliver. He is ably supported by such stalwarts as Max von Sydow and one of my favourite
character actors, Pete Postlethwaite.