Solomon Kane

Based on a pulp magazine character, Solomon Kane is an epic action film depicting the title character’s origin – from the end of his life as a privateer, through the salvation of his soul by rescuing a Puritan girl and the beginning of his life as the Puritan avenger of the source material. Directed by Michael J. Bassett, the movie stars James Purefoy in the title role.  Now I’ve never seen anything that Purefoy has done and never even heard of him before this film but I am a converted fan.

The film starts with Kane leading his men into a battle against an Ottaman soldiers occupied fortress. After defeating the Ottoman defenders, Solomon and his men enter the fortress, only to enter a room of enchanted mirrors. Demons trapped within the mirrors attack and kill most of the crew, but Solomon fights his way into the throne room of the fortress. Inside, as he helps himself to the fortress’s treasure, a demon dressed in hooded black robes and armed with a flaming sword appears. It declares itself a reaper of souls, sent by the Devil himself, and tells Kane that he is there to take Kane’s soul to hell. Solomon managed to elude the reaper by jumping into the sea.

Following this encounter, Kane returns to England and takes refuge in a monastery and living among the monks, he changes his ways and becomes a pious and peaceful man. However he is expelled from there due to the dreams that the Abott has about Soloman’s past. On his way back to his father’s land, Kane is ambushed by thieves but doesn’t fight back, choosing non-violence. He is found by a family of puritans, on their way to the coast to travel to America and start a new life. The family takes in Kane as one of them and soon they even ask if Kane will travel with them to America. The youngest child, a son, treats Kane like a hero and follows him around. However the family is itself ambushed by corrupted followers of the sorcerer Malachi and his brutal lieutenant, the Masked Rider. Most of the family is killed, except the daughter Meredith, who is kidnapped, and her mother. When Meredith’s younger brother, is mercilessly slain right before his shocked eyes, an enraged Solomon charges into battle, killing several.

A dying father’s last request is for Kane to bring the daughter back to safety and Kane vows to do so. He takes a horse and follows Malachi’s forces, attacking and defeating many and rescuing several captives. Malachi has taken up charge in a castle that belongs to Kane’s father. Kane is soon captured and crucify him but on hearing Meredith calling out his name, while she is being led along with other prisoners in a cart, Kane frees himself. A revolt of resistance fighters defeats the soldiers and they ask Kane to lead them in battle and overthrow Malachi. After resting, Kane & his new group storm the castle, where Kane finds his father, enslaved. His father explains that the Masked Rider is really Kane’s older brother Marcus Kane, whom Kane thought he had killed in an accident shortly after he was banished as a teenager. Marcus was, however, only severely injured and left in a coma: after the priests and healers failed to awake him, Solomon’s father turned to Malachi, who brought Marcus back to life: however, Marcus was horribly disfigured and left subservient to Malachi, who turned Marcus into his enforcer: the Masked Rider. At his father’s request, Solomon reluctantly shoots him dead and heads to the throne room to confront Malachi.

Inside the throne room Solomon confronts Malachi but is forced to fight Marcus and kills him. At the same time, Malachi uses Meredith’s “innocent blood” to open a portal, thus releasing a demon sent to claim Solomon’s soul, which attacks Kane. After a desperate fight, Kane shoots Malachi in the head, and all three souls (Kane, Malachi and the demon) are apparently pulled into Hell. It transpires that Kane, in saving Meredith from Malachi, redeemed his soul and so escapes Hell. Meredith travels to America with her mother, while Solomon, after burying his father and brother, declares that evil exists elsewhere in the world and that he will put an end to it.

Awesome movie with a lot of great sword fight scenes. I really liked it. 8/10.

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