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August 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The new Conan the Barbarian is getting the same sort of reviews that Arnold Schwarzenegger did when he … left office as governor of California: pretty awful. “Conan the Barbarian is a brutal, crude, witless high-tech CGI contrivance, in which no artificial technique has been overlooked, including 3-D,” comments Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times. Most critics panned the Schwarzenegger version of Conan, too. But they’ve really got their swords out for this one. “It takes a lot for a Conan the Barbarian movie to be flat-out idiotic, when you consider how low the bar is set already,” writes Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle, “but this remake of the 1982 Arnold Schwarzenegger extravaganza flirts with absurdity from its opening seconds.” Linda Barnard in the Toronto Star judges the film to be “the very definition of the dumb summer flick, designed to squeeze a few last bucks out of the kids before school starts up again.” So how, as an actor, does Jason Momoa compare to Schwarzenegger? On that issue, the verdict is mixed. Kyle Smith in the New York Post concludes that “Momoa, beefy as he is, isn’t really the right cut of meat for this part — there’s a little too much self-awareness glinting in his emerald irises. It would have been better to go with someone for whom speaking English does not come naturally. Like Arnold. Or Stallone.” But Manohla Dargis in the New York Times notes that after the two movies starring Schwarzenegger, “Mr. Momoa has some awfully big biceps to fill. He rises to that task with a pumped physique made for ogling.” Many of the critics obviously have difficulty finding words to describe the movie’s plot. Not so for Michael Philips of the Chicago Tribune, who sums up the movie this way: “One hundred and twelve minutes of ‘Aaaaarrrrrrrrggggghhhh!'”