On paper Red Sonja is a movie that I should love, but do I not like this movie at all! Many see it as part of the Conan universe and I get that, but for me, this has nothing at all to do with the two awesome Conan movies (The Barbarian and The Destroyer). I have tried to watch this many times over the years, but it is just so dull in comparison to Conan and that is a huge part of the problem here, it is impossible to watch this and not compare it to Conan.
How to Download Red Sonja
Red Sonja was released on July 3, 1985. You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice.
The Movie Review
The good things about Red Sonja are that the barbarian fantasy-type setting is rather cool and similar, but not quite as grand as what we got in the two Conan movies that came before this. I loved and still do most things fantasy and sorcery, but this movie despite having an interesting premise never feels like it gets going.
The Story of Red Sonja
Our main character is Red Sonja. Red Sonja is played by Briggete Neilson and she looks like a million bucks, she is truly a badass. However, her journey starts with her being brutally assaulted by the evil Queen Gedren’s soldiers who leave her for dead. It is a pretty brutal scene and I can see why my dad would not let me watch this when I was a kid!
Sonja begs for power (kind of like Kratos in God of War now that I think about it) and she gets it. Sonja gets a magic sword after her plea is answered and she trains under a sword master and now she has the skills necessary to defeat the evil Queen Gedren who has gone pretty insane.
The Magical Talisman
You see, there is this magical talisman that has so much power that it cannot be used, also, only women can touch it and the Queen wants to use its power to rule! Oh yeah, there is a really strange thing with women in this movie. From only women being able to touch the talisman to Sonja only being able to “lay with a man” if he can beat her in battle!
Arnold Schwarzenegger as Kalidor
Red Sonja is aided by a legendary warrior called Kalidor. Kalidor is played by Arnold Schwarzenegger and he is like a less cool and less badass version of Conan. You know, I think they would have been better casting someone else in this role as he is so distracting and you just want this to be a Conan movie because Schwarzenegger is in it!
A Comparison to Conan
There is still magic, wizards, swords, and sorcery in Red Sonja, but it just feels so lame in comparison to Conan! I know I keep saying that, but it is legit impossible to not make that comparison. I also have to say that Bridgette Neilson despite looking amazing and being a badass is not a great actor, especially an actor that is supposed to lead the movie. I would not say that she is bad, but she just lacks the charisma Arnold has.
It has probably been over 30 years since I first saw Red Sonja and I have probably tried at least five times to watch it again over the years. This is a movie that just does nothing for me at all and to be honest, I could go the rest of my life without seeing it again and be perfectly fine with it. However, I do think there is something cool about the Red Sonja character so I would certainly be interested if someone were to try and make a new movie.
- Red Sonja does look badass
- Hey even if he is not all that great, it still has Arnold in it
- The plot of the movie is boring
- The whole movie is just kind of dull
- It completely pails in comparison to the two Conan movies and most of the other 80s sword and sorcery movies too