a hell of a ride - very entertaining

NORTHMEN - A VIKING SAGA world premiere at the 10. Zurich Film Festival

The sea rages like a wild beast, snow and rain and giant waves batter the longship. “On a shield the Viking sleeps” recites the voice of Thorald (Ken Duken) from the off, while we see the men all but drown. Vikings endure. They survive, they fight like Tyr, their God of War, because when a Viking dies in battle, like Valli (Johan Hegg), Walhalla awaits him. Oh, they do die in NORTHMEN – A VIKING SAGA, Vikings and their foes alike. They get hurt, they get dirty, they even start to question their Gods, and they learn that a Christian monk (Ryan Kwanten) might be just as rebellious as proud Northman Asbjörn (Tom Hopper), the young leader of the renegades. The only woman in the film, Princess Inghean (Charlie Murphy) is one of the strongest figures in the Saga. She’s in touch with nature, she sees things, before they happen – and she finally follows Asbjörn, not as a prisoner, but of her own free will.

There are so many strong and beautiful moments in this movie, that the few predictable “action movie” goofs don’t count: Oh, a flimsy bridge on ropes … somebody must break through, but he must not die. Shot with an arrow? Knived in the leg? Flesh wound. Boo! The dead rise again, but just for a moment. … Well, as the Vikings did, do endure, and you’ll experience a piece of truly great cinema. NORTHMEN – A VIKING SAGA is a hell of a ride for all of the characters and for us in the audience. May Tyr protect us! WALHALLAAAAAA!!!! (cue Amon Amarth over end credits)


Video Interview with Ken Duken (Thorald) and Tom Hopper (Asbjörn)


About Elisabeth Schabus 477 Articles
I see, I like, I write ... mostly about cinema and actors, but also about politics or economy. In English, auf Deutsch, på svenska. This ORF trained news journalist (TV, radio), who has also worked in corporate publishing for international brands and written/edited tons of magazines, has become a blogger out of passion.


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  3. This was by no means “The 13th Warrior” and as someone who knows Norse Mythology better than the average Vikings fan, I have to agree with Josh. Tyr is not the god of war, but Justice and Victory in Battle. Strangely he is also called upon by athletes and wrestlers, giving the notion that he is called upon by warriors for physical prowess, I suppose.

    I have to agree with the review in that, I found this film surprisingly enjoyable, as a nice, Sunday afternoon popcorn view. There is a lot of entertaining aspects to it, regardless of any deviation from the elitist scrutiny of cinema or history.

    Sometimes one must just remember that most movies are made to entertain and remove us from daily life’s crap. This one did just that for me!

    • I shall have to read up on my Tyr, LadyAxe, my sincere apologies … being a OBOD Bard I really should know, shouldn’t I. Maybe I gave way too much heed to Loki lately (and no, not only to the Marvel’s one ;))
      And thank you for mentioning that magic word: entertainment!

  4. Tyr is not the Norse god of war. Tyr is the god of justice and heroic glory. Odin is the God of War.

    • Well, good point, dear Josh, thank you for bringing it to my attention … although, it says in the Edda that warriors should call upon Tyr … I guess we could have a marvellous discussion over some mead and song about this 🙂

  5. Well, you must probably be a friend of those austrian screenwriters who wrote this utterly banal, boring and – who can one otherwise say – idiotic movie. Read HR to learn how to review a movie!

    • do you feel now better after ranting about this review?
      Sure one could see the movie differently, but please let me know what your view is. Just refering to “read HR” does not help me … but maybe I am not smart enough to get it …

    • well, Anonymous, I do not know the writers but I do know an entertaining movie when I see one … you seem to confuse Amon Amarth with Mozart … NORTHMEN is a fun film about Vikings, like a Spaghetti western is a fun film about cowboys and indians, duh … I’d really like to read your reviews, Anonymous. Oh, and did you see what my blog is called? ristretto … that means short. HR does long reviews. I could do that too, but I rather take the extra hours to make my posts very concise

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