Jason Momoa's Conan the Barbarian, This Summer's Next (Only?) Ethnic Action Hero
Hot on the heels of Fast Five's post-racial success at the box office comes the first trailer for Lionsgate's Conan the Barbarian, a suitably metal-scored, sword-swinging affair featuring hunky Jason Momoa as the titular warrior. Coincidence of timing or part of a brave new movement in big, beefy action filmmaking? Consider this: the baddies are played by Rose McGowan and Avatar's Stephen Lang. Ah, fantasy: The great equalizer!
In all seriousness, the ethnic conversation over at the Photoshop-happy The Wrap this week didn't come to mind where Conan was concerned until watching the trailer, which lovingly fetishizes its brawny lead as John Milius did the Governator in the original 1982 film. Jason Momoa, of Baywatch and Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding fame (OK, and Stargate: Atlantis and Game of Thrones fame), turns the fierceness up a notch as the barely-clothed hero, who seeks vengeance upon the warlord (Lang, channeling Genghis Khan and the Klingon race) that wiped out his family.
Giant CG snakes, magical sand warriors, swordplay, self-serious line deliveries, slo-mo dirt explosions, vast period landscapes, bald (and frightening) Rose McGowan sporting Wolverine claws on her hands -- this trailer's got everything! Including sexytime, which the synopsis promises us ("Conan learns to steal, seduce, and fight his ways to his goals"). Incidentally, screenwriter Sean Hood took to the web today to promise fans a few things: First, there will indeed be "blood and boobs." And secondly: "...yes, it's rated R."
Does it look like a masterpiece? Well, not exactly. Will we see it anyway come August as the summer movie season winds down? You bet your DVD copy of Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding we will.
(Side note: Anyone else sad that McGowan didn't make Red Sonja happen instead?)
Verdict: Kill the evil white Klingon! Go Jason Momoa!