As far as I am aware, it was Lord Dark Helmet who said: “…now you see why evil will always triumph, because good is dumb.”
That’s oddly the sentiment that most accurately encompasses my feelings about Michael J. Bassett’s “Solomon Kane.”
The movie begins with Kane and his men invading a fortress – who’s defenders look vaguely Islamic. Kane is clearly not a good guy, and seems to care not that his men are being slaughtered around him. He is the only person in his party to reach the throne room of the fortress, where a huge mound of gold rests in the center of the room. He’s feeling pretty good about himself, till he’s cut off from his remaining men – who are slaughtered – and Death’s Reaper appears.
He says that Kane is bound to Hell, and that he’s going to take him there, an idea Solomon has difficulty with.
He fights the demon off, and throws himself from a high window (for someone that’s supposedly marked for death, you’d think that the fall would have killed him).
Years pass, and we next find Solomon Kane in a monastery, where he has hidden himself from the evil that he believes stalks him.
He is soon forced from his sanctuary, and makes his way home to the lands that are under the control of his family. This is also, unfortunately, when the movie gets a bit dull because the “evil” Solomon Kane is significantly more interesting than the good one. He eventually goes back to his slaying ways, despite knowing that it will damn him to Hades, at which point the film picks up steam again.
The film is very well cast, with actors of a very high caliber, like James Purefoy, Alice Krige, Max von Sydow, and Pete Postlethwaite, as well as those behind the camera, such as Patrick Tatopoulos, who designed the monsters.
The film itself is gorgeous and lush, which makes me wonder why it is that it didn’t receive a theatrical release. The trailer is dated 2010, and since this film was only available via iTunes late last year I can only assume that it’s been sitting on the shelf for at least two years, perhaps more.
Which is a pity because it’s an entertaining film, and deserved better than it appears that it had received.