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Valhalla Rising (2009)
Style over substance
When I heard there was going to be a Viking movie with Mads Mikkelson, and I saw the trailer for it, I was very very intrigued. I am of the opinion that a serious Viking drama has never been done well or respectfully, so I was really hoping that I might get that here.
Unfortunately, the plot of Vallhalla Rising is so shallow and near meaningless that I must admit that I'm still waiting.
That being said, if judged in terms of cinematic and visual experience, it was beautifully shot, and the much vaunted fights scenes (especially the ones in the beginning) were awesome in their brutality. The director sets great scenes in some awesome locations, so your eyes will be in for a treat... but don't expect riveting plot. Rather, think of this as an arts movie with a bit of brutal violence in it.
Hell, I just wished they named the movie better. The fact these characters are Norse is just about irrelevant... they could have plugged a number of different cultures into this story-line, change a few slight details and the difference to the core story would have been negligible. Way to name a movie Valhalla Rising' simply because otherwise the idea that there are Vikings in this movie is not reinforced heavily enough.
So, watch if you want a artsy visual experience... don't sit down with a bunch of friends expecting a action blockbuster. This is not it.