If you were asked what was the one thing missing from the fantasy hack'em'up genre, what would you say?
More credibility? Bigger budgets? Less cheesy acting?
If you answered 'a quintessential swashbuckling antihero touting a Farmer Giles accent', then you're in luck.
Thankfully, author Robert E. Howard's lesser-known, muscle-bound, sword-swinging protagonist (after Conan) manages to deliver on all of the above.
Set at the turn of 17th century England, Solomon Kane finds himself repenting a bloody life of murder, greed and treasure-nabbing adventures after fighting a demon who informs him that his violent ways have left his soul damned for all eternity.
While Kane tries his hardest to lead a peaceful life, a chance encounter with a travelling pilgrim family and their inevitable slaughter/capture ensures the gloves (and numerous heads) soon come off, as he battles to save the survivors from the clutches of a tyrannical sorcerer despot and his faithful Vader-esque assistant, The Man In The Iron Leatherface Mask.
With sweeping - often beautiful - shots of the wet English (in actuality, Czech) countryside, Purefoy's West Country accent, and a gallant mission to save a nubile beauty (Rachel Hurd-Wood), it could have easily descended into farce.
But a combination of Purefoy's stoic, captivating performance and a number of bloodthirstily brilliant fight scenes ensure this is more Darling Bloods of May than twee cheese-fest.
Fulfilling the action quotient of its primarily teenage target audience, British writer-director Michael J. Bassett has managed to effectively craft a microcosmic Lord of the Rings.
More intimate and less fantastical for sure. But channelled through Purefoy's impassioned Aragorn-alike Kane (who is, in a heartbeat, a more intriguing character thanks to his immediate character arc from demonic hellraiser to struggling rehabilitator), and a whole host of claret-spilling battles, Solomon Kane may not revolutionise the time-worn genre but it's certainly a good start.