Spend your life cutting men down with your blade and robbing them of their wealth, and word of your exploits is sure to reach the devil, who is always on the lookout for new souls. Meet Solomon Kane, the invention of Robert E. Howard, the legendary creator of Conan the Barbarian. Howard published his sword-and-sorcery stories in the Depression-era pulp magazine Weird Tales, and his influence on the fantasy genre is rivalled only by J. R. R. Tolkien.
Armed with a rapier and flintlock pistols, Solomon Kane dresses in black, his pale face and cold eyes shadowed by a hat. He is a true rogue, blasting and slashing forward on a mission of pillage and plunder in war-torn North Africa in the late 1500s. When the devil lays claim to his hopelessly corrupt soul, Kane escapes only to face the sobering truth: in order to seek redemption, he must renounce his wicked ways and devote himself wholly to a pious life. His new-found piety is put to the test when he is forced to return to his murderous ways to save England from the grasp of evil.
Under the fine direction of Michael J. Bassett, James Purefoy brings this swashbuckling hero to life on the big screen, eliciting more depth and intrigue from Kane than Arnie was able to deliver in Conan. His bare flesh scarred with spiritual symbols and a cross branded on his back, Purefoy (known for his role as Mark Antony in HBO’s Rome) as Kane has looked into the fiery pits of hell and is ready to take on the demonic hordes. Purefoy is backed by the solid casting of Jason Flemyng, Max von Sydow and Pete Postlethwaite.
Shot in a gritty manner that embraces the story’s mud, filth and blood, Solomon Kane evokes Michael Reeves’s The Conqueror Worm, starring Vincent Price. However, our hell-bent hero never takes his valiant quest too seriously, marking a glorious return to high-spirited action and adventure.