To be clear, this film is as naff as hell. I can't recall seeing a movie with such forceful dedication to being cheesy in quite the while. But I guess it knew what it was and never tried to be anything more. This thought seems to allow critics to give things a pass. In that sense, films like Taken or 27 Dresses get more amiable reviews then say The Imaginarium Of Dr Parnassus or Stop-Loss. Because its apparently better to be knowingly shit then it is to shoot for the stars and miss. Its a rule I disagree with in theory, but its hard not to be a hypocrite about this shit. Because you just know I'm not going to trash Solomon Kane with the same ferocity I just tore into the Lovely Bones with. Even though the latter is clearly the better of the two, without any question. I think it has something to do with expectation, and having your optimism dashed is far more galling then having you're pessimism confirmed. Its bullshit and unfair reactionary critical thinking, but everyone does and will continue to do it.
So back to Solomon Kane. It kind of plays like a movie you might see at midnight on the sci-fi channel, only with a bigger effects budget and the living genius that is James Purefoy. Oh Purefoy. How you're attempts at alpha-male badassery make me smile. Purefoy is cheesy as hell more then incompetent I suppose, and its not an awful performance, but it sure as hell isn't a good one either. It seems kinder not to mention the other actors in this movie, because its not like anyone else does anything worth doing. Its a swords and sorcery fest, that hopes viewers will crank the irony up to eleven and get in the spirit of things. Which some will, if they are inclined to do such ( I should say that Jonathan Ross loved this movie) but its bad guys. Come on. Its all so cliched and dated, and a movie that clearly should have been made in the eighties. The dialogue is awful, characters come and go with little regard and its simplistic enough to put Avatar to shame. But you don't care right. Magic and monsters= awesome. I expect five star reviews for Nic Cage's The Sorcerer's apprentice from all of you motherfuckers. Especially you Ross.
Oh and one more thing, the reveal of the unseen villain in the final reel was awesome. They built it up like it was going to be Gary Oldman or someone equally awesome or something and then its Jason Flemyng. Lolz. You can's stunt cast Jason Flemyng guys, its an antithetical concept.