Movie Reviews 55 – Conan the Destroyer (1984)

The movie Conan the Barbarian was enough of success to spawn a sequel featuring the formidable Arnorld Schwarzenegger, but now that his character was introduced to audiences, a good follow up story was needed to expand on the character. Unfortunately the producers of the follow up Conan the Destroyer seem to have opted to just throwing in a bunch of quasi-stars to boost audience appeal. We’ve got the talentless Sarah Douglas, “Ursa” of Superman II fame, who looked a lot hotter in leather and talked a lot less in that movie which we now know was a good thing. Next, we’ve got retired basketball superstar Wilt ‘The Stilt’ Chamberlain, who was one of the few men on the planet at the time that could actually make Arnold seem puny by comparison. Then there’s pretty-face teen actress Olivia D’Abo would would later appear in The Wonder Years, and finally disco queen Grace Jones prancing around exposing her arse to the wind and using her 100 pound light frame to throw around 250 pound men in combat. You’d think she was the heavy in the movie instead of Arnie. With that kind of fluff for supporting start power it’s no surprise that Mako, reprising his role in the first movie, steals the show despite having a smaller role. Conan/Arnold are nearly insignificant in the typical Quest to save the Princess story where the voyage and characters in the journey are the real story. The few good scenes and battles are barely worth the sterile supporting actors and some of the flimsier fantasy effects. Only for Arnie completists and people who have a stomach for actors who can’t act. Not surprisingly, this was the end of the Arnold as Conan movie series.

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One Response to “Movie Reviews 55 – Conan the Destroyer (1984)”

  1. chandlerswainreviews Says:

    Yes, this was an unfortunate film, surprising since Milius’ Conan film was such an accomplished blueprint on how exactly to reconfigure Howard’s pulp literature to the screen. Some of the supporting players in the first film were of variable performance quality as well, but at least they both looked and certainly moved correctly in the roles. Unfortunately director Fleischer’s efforts on the subsequent “Red Sonja: were equally unimpressive, though Arnold did provide a few uncharacteristically humorous moments in that film.

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