4-Color to 35-Millimeter: Red Sonja


While the great superhero movie rewatch is firmly ensconced in the 21st-century renaissance of such films, there are a few 20th-century flicks I overlooked. This last week of 2018, I’ll be addressing those, starting today with Brigitte Nielsen’s debut role in Red Sonja.

An excerpt:

The script is trapped between adapting an existing character and servicing the needs of Hollywood. The two biggest problems are the presence of Schwarzenegger’s Kalidor, who’s there as a hedge against a) a female protagonist who is b) played by an unknown; and the ending, where they kiss. It contravenes the whole point of Red Sonja to have her forego her vow just like that at the end for the sake of a very Hollywood-ized kiss. (And yes, I know Sonja’s vow only to sleep with a man who overpowers her is problematic to say the least, and one that has been fodder for many a comic book story, but this movie doesn’t really address it except to have Kalidor make fun of it and have Sonja ignore it for Kalidor, which is giving Schwarzenegger’s musculature way too much credit.) Having said that, I enjoyed the hell out of Sonja and Kalidor fighting each other so hard that they both collapse from exhaustion.

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