More and more films premiere on Video on Demand — if they don’t simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar. This time we’re looking at “Solomon Kane,” a fantasy swashbuckler based on a character created by pulp novelist Robert E. Howard — not the long-awaited sequel to “Citizen Kane” about Charles Foster’s exceedingly wise son.
Director: Michael J. Bassett
Cast: James Purefoy, Max von Sydow, Rachel Hurd-Wood
Official Synopsis: “Captain Solomon Kane (Purefoy) is a brutally efficient 16th Century killing machine. Armed with his signature pistols, cutlass and rapier, he and his men unleash their bloodlust as they fight for England in war after war on all continents. As the story opens, Kane and his band of pillagers are carving a bloody path through hordes of defenders in an exotic city in northern Africa. But when Kane decides to attack a mysterious nearby castle to plunder its rumored riches, his mission takes a fateful turn. One by one, Kane’s men are picked off by demonic creatures until he alone is left to face the Devil’s own Reaper — dispatched from the depths of Hell to lay claim to his hopelessly corrupt soul. Though Kane at last manages to escape, he knows that he now must redeem himself by renouncing violence and devoting himself wholly to a life of peace and purity. His newfound spirituality, however, is quickly put to the ultimate test when he begins his journey across an England ravaged by diabolical human Raiders controlled by a terrifying, masked Overlord.”
“Grounded in a believable sixteenth-century English milieu that sharpens rather than blunts its fantastical edge, the film’s epic vision bears comparison with the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, its imaginative supernatural elements confidently fused with a savage reality.”
“If weapons and wizardry get your blood up, and you prefer your movies dark and brooding and minus the sandals, ‘Solomon Kane’ fits the bill.”
“There’s plenty that’s good here: a serious tone, steady pacing, muddy and bloody scenery and a convincing turn by Purefoy in his own west country accent.”
“Entertaining pulp, cheesy but not campy, with modern CG enhancements.”
“An impressive looking film on a reasonably limited budget, technically spectacular in terms of production design, cinematography and its epic score.”
“Solomon Kane” is now available on VOD and iTunes.