The Northman

The Northman ★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Eggers really looked around the world, and thought, ”You know, what we really need these days is a story about a white man who receives a mystical prophecy about his pure bloodline and then spends his life questing in violent revenge for the murder of his father,* but after finding a beautiful blonde lady temporarily halts his quest long enough to wield his special sword so as to pass on his pure bloodline and make white babies, and then gets back to his quest so he can wield his other sacred extra-special sword and gloriously die in naked swordy sword battle in front of a fiery volcano and then rise up to heaven like the hero that a violent, white-baby-seed-producing man naturally is.” 

Does it have high production values, an all-star cast, meticulous production design, propulsive action, exciting fighting scenes, and all the markers of a hit? Yep. Doesn’t change its total lack of emotional intelligence and psychological complexity, its thinly characterized relationships (because who needs an actually fully developed romance when you can have father and son belch-farting-in-a-cave bonding?), and the fact that it is, at its heart, a tribute to the violent, white patriarchy. 

There is no denying there is a pleasure in seeing a certain mastery of the forms of cinema but, dear god, I found this movie unutterably depressing. 

*(a father who enslaved and raped a woman he eventually made his wife, a lady who should have been damn grateful to have the privilege of marrying a violent king and producing a beautiful pure-bloodline son but who found someone she actually loved to save her from a rapey marriage, like a traitorous bitch)

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