Mads Ej’s review published on Letterboxd:
Amleth: I will avenge you, Father! I will save you, Mother! I will kill you, Fjölnir!
Robert Eggers is back and this time he goes back to the Viking era. The movie is an adaptation of the story of Amleth, which is the story that inspired “Hamlet” (what a clever name Shakespeare came up with). This of course makes the main revenge story feel a lot like something we have seen before, but the inclusion of all the mythological stuff and all the weirder sequences along with Robert Eggers’ artistic vision, still makes it a cool and unique experience that both masters atmosphere through the great use of sound and setting, and masters the direction with plenty of visually beautiful scenes and cool long one take shots.
As a Scandinavian, I have always thought Vikings were cool and I have learned much about their mythology both in school and out of my own interest, and I liked how well their culture was depicted, while there also was a good amount of Easter eggs for us with some knowledge about the mythology.
The movie was very violent and had some bloody scenes, but it also had plenty of Eggers’ typical weirdness in the form of dream/nightmare sequences and other symbolic scenes.
My biggest problem was the pacing, since it could get slow especially in the second half, which made parts drag a little and I think some stuff could have been cut shorter. I also think the transition between some of the scenes were a little bit too sudden and some stuff like the death of Amleth’s father kinda came out of nowhere.
The movie had a great cast, who all did a great job, but I just think it is a shame that Björk only had a quick cameo, since she had an interesting character that she did a good job with and I thought the movie had been advertised as her return to acting. Willem Dafoe also didn’t have much screen time, which also was a shame since he was fun in his two scenes. Alexander Skarsgård was a good lead and I liked his chemistry with Anya Taylor-Joy, but his character didn’t leave that big of an impression on me. I also liked the Danish Claes Bang a lot as the villain and he was a better fit for the role than I had imagined.
Though I had some problems with it, I still think Robert Eggers delivered another atmospheric and historical masterpiece. I still prefer “The Lighthouse” over this, but this is definitely still a strong addition to his great filmography, that I only hope will continue to grow bigger.