The Northman

The Northman ★★

Impossible to disassociate how the passage of fate that Eggers weaves are experienced with the same one-track linearity as God of War 2018, a tragedy written with many acts of barbaric violence which, once smoke comes clear, fails to bear the tactility beneath its feet. It’s one thing to suffer the turmoil of the blood, guts and mud that denote a vengeance tale, another to see such a struggle dissipate in seemingly digital oners whose distancing artifice recall The Revenant at its worst. There’s a push & pull between the pledges of phantasmic mythology and the personal conflicts of actualising them into the physical world, arriving at a point that can’t quite be dismissed as the futility of yet another revenge narrative even if it racks up all the bodies of one. Though this descent into Hel is engaged by many a spatially uninspired pursuit of character at all costs, dollying through the most intricate of historical details for interchangeable sequences of Skarsgård standing in the many ruins of his purpose.

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