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Review: 'Solomon Kane' gets action-adventure just right

September 27, 2012|By Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
  • A scene from "Solomon Kane."
A scene from "Solomon Kane." (Radius )

There are just too few down-and-dirty action-adventure films in the mold of "Solomon Kane" these days, assuming, that is, that bloody beheadings and demonic battles are your thing.

Written and directed by Michael J. Bassett, the film sees the title character — a creation of Robert E. Howard, the man responsible for Conan the Barbarian and Red Sonja — plunder his way across Africa and Europe while fighting to hold on to his soul against forces of evil.

Actor James Purefoy wisely underplays Kane's inner torment — anyone who made it through Nicolas Cage's "Season of the Witch" will particularly appreciate that choice.

Whether by budget or design, the movie plays as a sharp blend of practical, live-action filmmaking and special-effects work, and it resists the tendency to overdo the fantastic imagery that trips up so many adventure films.

"Solomon Kane" succeeds by embracing its identity as a straightforward genre exercise, complete with bone-crunching and blood-spurting action. By not aiming for more, it hits its target.

"Solomon Kane." MPAA rating: R for violence throughout. Running time: 1 hour, 44 minutes. At the AMC Burbank 16, Burbank.

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