Here, we're first introduced to the barbarian when he's cut from his dying mother's womb, by his father (the always great Ron Perlman), on the battlefield. Then we see him as a runty teenager taking a test with the other teenaged boys. When they run into some animalistic Picts they all flee, except Conan, who stays and slays them. He returns to his Cimmerian village carrying their four decapitated heads. It impresses his father. However, Conan is a little too zealous and when his father creates a special sword tells him he's not ready for it. Then, their village is attacked by Khalar Zym, who is seeking to piece together a magical mask that will enable him to resurrect his sorceress wife so she can rule all of Hyboria and make him a living god.
Then, we go to the adult Conan, who has been traveling across the land and now have allies who sail a ship. One of the first things we see them do is free a slave colony since Conan says "No man should be a slave". In a bar, he runs into one of the men who killed his father and allows himself to be captured and taken to a slave mine, so he can kill the guy and also find out where Khalar Zym is. The rest of the movie is basically a revenge tale, as he goes after him, killing monsters and warriors along the way. At one point he rescues Tamara (Rachel Nichols of ALIAS, STAR TREK), a warrior monk who has something Khalar needs (He wants to put his dead wife's spirit into her). In one of the film's best scenes Marique, Khalar's witch daughter (a freakish Rose McGowan), resurrects a bunch of zombie warriors from the sand, which Conan and Tamara have to defeat. And this wouldn't be much of a Conan tales if there wasn't a large, Cthuluesque beast, which there is.
My only complaint is that all the death and fighting sequences happen way too fast, particularly with the deaths of the villains, which made them anticlimactic. Although I liked the John Millius' film version of Conan from the early 80's I like this movie better, as it "feels" much more like Robert E. Howard's pulp character. Jason Momoa fits the role better than Arnold ever did. At times I felt like I was watching the movie's trailer, not the movie. However, I'd definitely return for a Conan sequel...
Directed by Marcus Nispel (Pathfinder, Friday the 13th)