Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

{Solomon Kane opens in Seattle on Friday, 9/28, and is screening at Sundance Cinemas Seattle}

Of course I’m going to volunteer to see a period piece (kind of) starring James “smoldering eyes” Purefoy as a swashbuckling, demon-fighting hero. Of. Course.

Based on a popular pulp character from Weird Tales magazine in the 20s, Solomon Kane is dude whose sole purpose is to wipe out the evil that is constantly trying to take over the world and ruin everybody’s good, pure time by eating people and causing general mayhem and destruction.

Solomon Kane is set up as his origin story, and is clearly meant to kickoff a series of Kane films. Unfortunately, during some marauding, Solomon pisses off a bunch of mirror demons and in the chaos, his soul is promised to the devil. Naturally, he gives up his life of violence for religion and peace—until he befriends an innocent family and f’s things up be bringing down some demon vengeance, resulting in death of their son and the kidnapping of their virginal daughter.

After being told by the dying priest? father? minister? Pete Postlethwaite (SK was filmed in 2009, and is just now making its way over to the states) that his soul can be saved IF he rescues his daughter, Kane goes back into full violence mode — determined to rescue the lady from the mysterious (ok, not so mysterious) demon lord called Malachi, restore his own honor, and save everyone from the end of days.

Sadly, I felt like this film didn’t quite deliver the bad-assery it promised. Sure, there’s a lot of kicking-ass, but it’s expected, slow-motiony swordplay dotted around a plot that really doesn’t deliver any surprises.

That said, it looks pretty damn amazing. The sets, CGI-laden as they are, are seriously impressive—as is most of the Special F/X work, and Purefoy is no slouch in the acting department. The problem is, I think, that everyone in this film is taking it all so seriously!

A film like this should be fun and you should really want to root for the hero. But Kane is so…well, boring. Predictable. And honestly, a bit of a whiner. I feel like it would have served everyone better to give this some over-the-top cheese and a couple of sexy wenches, and less like a historical action adventure serial.  

In fact, I was craving some old-school The Sword and the Sorcerer-type fantasy action. Purefoy doesn’t even take off his shirt, for chrissakes! My advice to the filmmakers: next time, make Kane a little bit more Talon, and make the villain a little bit more Cromwell.

Success will be assured.