Conan (Jason Momoa) travels the world to kill the man (Stephen Lang) who murdered his father (Ron Perlman) before the world is destroyed.
Marcus Nispel is the latter-day king of medium budget piss-poor remakes of decent movies from previous decades. His stupidly glossy version of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre at least gave us a genuinely barnstorming performance from R Lee Ermey, but added nothing to the original. An English-language version of Pathfinder seemed pointless; his Friday The 13th conflated the first few movies into a stupid set of 3D-enhanced kills and a waste of some vaguely talented TV actors, and now his Conan The Barbarian arrives, again in 3D.
The upsides first. Hmm. Well, MMA (that's the new wrestling, isn't it) person Jason Momoa is actually not bad as Conan, with something of a light screen presence not unlike his fellow grappler-turned-actor The Rock/Dwayne Johnson. Also adding value is Ron Perlman in a somewhat unfortunate Harry and the Hendersons make-up as Conan's doomed sword-maker dad. And that's about it.
The plot's straightforward to the point of redundancy; a villainous warlord (Stephen Lang, at least getting a secondary lead role, but with nothing to work with, scriptwise) must be killed. He's got a castle stronghold and a witch-daughter. Along the way to the castle, Conan makes some mates (a pirate and a thief) and calls on them when the need for a new action sequence demands it. Cue sword battles, escapes, a tentacled sewer monster and a Mines of Moria-ish climax. Naturally the bad king's up to some kind of raising-the-naughty-gods tomfoolery which involves collecting bits of the Talisman of Questing or somesuch and naturally his witch-daughter forgets to use magic at the point in the plot it might have actually have been handy for her to have done so.
No-one involved in the production has read Diana Wynne Jones' Tough Guide to Fantasyland, or they wouldn't have gone through with this. A step down from The Sword and The Sorcerer, and not much of a step up from Kull the Conqueror, this is regrettably, another duff version of Robert E Howard's fantasies. That said, Momoa's probably got a career in the movies should The Rock ever need someone to play his younger brother.