The Northman – 2 stars
All the visual gifts in the world, and those of director Robert Eggars (The Witch) are prodigious, can’t make this Viking tale of filial vengeance any less stupid. There are a few joys – massive overacting (well played, Ethan Hawke, but Nicole Kidman wins by a nose), a few impressive scenes of sackings, the beautiful Northern Ireland topography standing in for Iceland – but boredom wins out, and by the end, it isn’t much of a fight.
High and mindless, the picture could have used Game of Thrones’ intelligence or the John Boorman Excalibur’s fun. Instead, we get gory drug trips and silly moments when the film feels closer to RenFest than Valhalla. More hamburger than Hamlet.
I do like how many of the actors try to do Norse and come off Transylvanian.