The Northman

The Northman ★★★

The cinematic equivalent of passing in a 12-page bibliography for a single paragraphed essay entitled "Vikings; Raw as Fuck".

My least favourite Eggers--but not without its charms. Visuals, mostly. Valkyrie (with shiny mouth-braces?) flying towards a rift in space. Yggdrasil's roots born from the bodies of slain, surviving & future regents. Northern Ireland in all its treeless, windswept grandeur. Alexander Skarsgård's hot, hunched, hulking-as-heck bod. But, by the ample ass of almighty Amleth, this movie might just be considered the complete opposite of clever. Which is what it's trying to be, obviously. Big man kill other man! Murder man! Kill! Compared to the subversive Puritansploitation of The VVitch & what homo-hilarity ensued in The Lighthouse--Nudey Northman seems so achingly superficial. Intentionally or not, Eggers reduces the ancient world into nothing more than a symposium of snarls, gnarls, swords, sweat, stains, shit, piss. Everything is up front and visceral and scrutable. Again, that sounds sicknasty but watches more like, uh, sleepfasty. How much guttural shouting can one film contain, really? Is there anything below the surface here or am I just another big dumb-dumb? Sure...I really, really dig those scenes where Amleth finds himself launched forward in time (while not having moved at all). The irrevocability of Fate--how time itself begins to bow and trip before such a single-minded protagonist--is a cool visual metaphor meant to encompass the whole structure of Norse mythology and the doom of one lone Viking's quest for blood. I only wish there was more playing with the flow of time like that!

Grr. Ruff. Rawwr. I heard RE didn't get final-cut for this one, which is bonkers. Hollywood is a mean industry.

Claes Bang! Everyone's accents sounded like Swedish Chef!

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