THE NORTHMAN – Rated R – 2hrs 16 mins – MAY CONTAIN A SPOILER, or two

This Review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser

Fate…has no Mercy…

Written & Directed by: Robert Eggers

Written by: Sjon

Starring:  Alexander Skarsgard, Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang, Ethan Hawke, Anya Taylor-Joy and Willem Dafoe

Before we get too far into this review, for all the ladies who have graciously followed me for years, letting me help you to decide whether or not to head out to a theater near you to catch the latest film, I have to share immediately that this film is most definitely a DUDE FLICK, so let me save you some time, and money. That is unless you’re impetus is that you are going to view Alexander Skarsgard’s perfectly chiseled body, then by all means…head to a theater and read on…

This epic adventure, which is said to be loosely based on the Scandinavian Legend of Amieth, which legend says too was apparently the book that was the driving force behind Shakespeare’s Hamlet… we travel to the land of the Vikings, as young Amieth (Oscar Novak) is learning the ways of Viking royalty and stepping into manhood, with his brave and noble Father, King Aurvandil by his side.  As fate would have it, his uncle Fjolnir (Claes Bang) is about to slain his father, and kidnap his mother Queen Gudrun (Nicole Kidman), as the child finds himself parentless, and forced to live off the land.

Now, as Amieth ventures near and far, growing into a man filled with nothing but torment and anger, he arrives at a place in life where his worlds are about to collide, as he seeks vengeance for his father, and the loyalty he has vowed his whole life, in saving his mother, while at the same time has found the joy of love amidst all this chaos of his mind, in the arms of the beautiful Olga (Anya Taylor-Joy), a fellow slave.

With the help of Olga, and his hefty blade to slay the man who killed his father, Ameith finds that vengeance unserved is the greatest torment of all, as he cannot waiver from his commitment to his father, in making his uncle pay for what he has done…

I give THE NORTHMAN a rating of 2 out of 5:  Having this film billed as the next ultimate epic hitting theaters this weekend, is by my estimation a little far-fetched, as the only thing epic for me in viewing this film, was the epic painful length of the same dreary, dark and graphically violent scenes hitting the screen over, and over again.  Of course, as you can also tell from the trailer, in reality, this one was totally made for all the men out there, so THE NORTHMAN might bring many of you with testosterone flowing your veins great joy, I suppose, but even the two gentlemen that sat next to me and my friend Mary at the advanced screening, felt this one was a lot more hype, the sustenance.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, Alexander Skarsgard is perfectly cast as Ameith, with his broody and vengeful existence throughout almost every inch of this film.  And I must say at this juncture too, that all of the preparing he did to play the consummate Viking for this film didn’t go unnoticed either, as it ends up not being too hard on the eyes either, although all I kept wanting to do through most of this film, was bathe him, eluding to the fact that I probably would have never survived a day of living in the days of 839 AD.   I also wasn’t enamored at all by Nicole Kidman’s performance, although the plot twist that comes about at her hands, does end up being quite remarkable.  Claes Bang’s performance as the viscius killer uncle was totally convincing thoughout too, and Ethan Hawke’s performance is resonating from the start too, although his screen time this time around ends up being very short-lived.  I kept trying to convince myself that this epic was something that should be praised and honored, as Skarsgard’s performance is above average throughout most of this film, and I did enjoy the small, but significant contributions that Anya Taylor-Joy was allowed to share on the screen too, but even both of their better than average performances couldn’t fix my longing for this film to be over about a whole hour before it did.

Suffice to say the THE NORTHMAN was definitely not my cup of tea, but if you enjoy filthy Vikings, that love to pillage villages and women, with the undertones of Hamlet rising up within the literal darkness portrayed on screen, then by all means don’t let me stop you, but for me personally, THE NORTHMAN was rather a waste of 2.25 hours of my life…that I will never get back…

2 out of 5

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