This sadly is billed as another lead for Arnold Schwarzenegger, but he barely appears in it. He’s more of a supporting role, popping up now and then, and probably he’s off screen for over half the movie itself. In an obvious nod to his role as Conan, here changed legally to another name, the few battle scenes we have are bloody and brutal, but they aren’t strong enough to carry the basis of the film. Nielsen suffers at a very limited acting range for her debut, and doesn’t give Sonja enough pathos or gravitas to help us relate or care to her.
It’s clear the acting talent here is good, but they aren’t taking the film seriously, and who can blame them. It’s a clichéd swords and sandal film, and full of wooden dialogue and a revenge plot built on the basis of a rejected lesbian advance by Bergman’s Queen. It’s not exactly strong stuff, and a very weak basis to build a film on.
Stick with Conan if you want to see Schwarzenegger in a role like this that actually works, because sadly this film is a wasted chance to capitalise on his role, and it’s a big clunky mess.