The time between The Lord of the Rings trilogy concluding in 2003 and Game of Thrones launching in 2011 was a strange period for the fantasy genre, with a whole host of would-be franchises and multi-season TV hopefuls arriving on a regular basis, but very few of them managed to puncture the public consciousness or capture the zeitgeist in any meaningful way.
There were countless movies released into theaters in the interim, a great deal of which were absolutely terrible, but one of the better and more overlooked entries in the back catalogue is Solomon Kane. Based on the character from Conan the Barbarian creator Robert E. Howard that debuted in 1928, director Michael J. Bassett helmed a grim, gritty and often unrelentingly violent tale, but one that was clearly made with a great deal of affection and heaps of enthusiasm.
James Purefoy’s action hero credentials and quietly charismatic performance as the title hero will leave you wondering why he didn’t become a much bigger star, and there’s no way that Solomon Kane would have turned out as enjoyable as it did with a lesser actor in the lead. It isn’t high art, but it’s definitely worth a late night or weekend viewing for fans of both fantasy and action.
It looks like many people feel the same way, too, because Solomon Kane is currently the eighth most-watched title on Netflix around the world. That’s an impressive feat for a niche adventure flick that initially bombed at the box office when it was first released a decade ago, where it failed to even reach $20 million globally on a budget of $40 million, but Netflix has more than proven itself as the home of forgotten movies.