Valhalla Rising (2010)

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An escaped warrior slave and a group of religious zealots seeking their “holy land” find themselves in unfamiliar territory when their ship loses its way in fog.

Director Nicolas Winding Refn, responsible for the decent if somewhat cold and uninvolving Pusher trilogy, here enters Viking territory in this tale of strangers in a strange land. As an indicator of just how pretentious this film is, lead actor Mads Mikkelsen does not utter one syllable during the entire length of the film, Refn instead telling the “story” through endless shots of desolate landscapes shot through high contrast filters, men with beards staring into the middle distance and occasionally mud wrestling. Apart from the brief spurts of savage violence, absolutely nothing happens in this film. A few extras from Braveheart – I was previously unaware that all Vikings sounded like groundskeeper Willy- wander around the Scottish Highlands, stab each other from time to time for reasons ill-explained and that, my friend, is it. The fancy visuals may fool some into thinking that this is art, but anyone with an ounce of common sense will see through this blatant attempt at Werner Herzog mimicry as a load of tediously boring, pointless old cobblers.

Well before the end of the first hour I was watching it on fast forward and if you can imagine how good a band called “Valhalla Rising” would be, then you’ve found the level of this film. Absolute tripe.

1.5/10

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