Captain Rowdy’s review published on Letterboxd:
Easily my least favorite Eggers. I feel like I've seen this story before. This was obviously Eggers's first time with a budget this big and yet the budget limitations took me out. The set pieces seem stitched together without any delicious connective tissue. Every scene seemed to exist to accomplish one thing and then we jump to the next. This made The Northman feel like a video game with consecutive cut scenes varying in quality in between the considerably brutal action sequences, which felt limited to a room or a small area.
I enjoyed the long takes, it made the action feel more important. The fighting was well blocked and some of the camera work was impressive. My initial thought was that this was not as visually captivating as Eggers's two previous films. But a few of the images- a moonlight fuck, a naked volcano duel, humans stitched together, have stuck with me. Though overall The Northman might not be as interesting, going for a more nihilistic route like The Green Knight while not provoking as much feeling as i would've liked. Nihilism can be boring, though I'm happy we've been gifted another over the top Man's picture with just enough scenery chewing. Alongside, The Batman, 2022 is good for that!
I can appreciate that this world is shown to be casually cruel, even in ways our main characters contribute to. The value of a human life is ambivalent. And that the act of seeking revenge seems almost ridiculous, when everyone is getting murdered. That mixed with morbid world building and historical recreation kept me preoccupied the most.
Anya Taylor-Joy, Bjork, Nicole Kidman and Skarsgard's beauty are innocent.