The Northman

The Northman ★★★½

A slaughterous rampage through a snowy landscape, soundtracked by resounding drumming, and roaring with feral rage. The Northman is a mighty and vicious Viking vengeance tale with visionary attributes expected from Eggers.

The audacious cinematography (especially those tracking shots), distinct costume design, and delirious turns from Dafoe and Kidman (although not nearly enough) make this a generally howling escapist journey. Skarsgård absolutely commits to his tormented central character.

While The Northman has some fiercely entertaining moments, particularly in its first and final third, the sidestepping storytelling did test my patience. The pacing and padding is noticeable across the middle stretch, and while the prince’s tactical plays make perfect sense (including one brutal sporting event), I wish his efforts to conquer his fate were applied with a little bit more urgency.

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