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Kievan Rus, late 10th century. After the death of his father, Svyatoslav I, ruler of Kievan Rus, the young Viking prince Vladimir of Novgorod (Danila Kozlovsky) is forced into exile across the frozen sea to escape his treacherous half-brother Yaropolk (Aleksandr Ustyugov), who has murdered his other brother Oleg (Kirill Pletnyov) and conquered the Viking territory of Kievan Rus. The old warrior Sveneld (Maksim Sukhanov) convinces Vladimir to assemble a Varangian armada, hoping to reconquer Novgorod from Yaropolk and ultimately face the mighty Byzantine forces.Written by
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It is always difficult to make a movie based on historical facts. One must do a thorough research and properly put those facts in the movie. But one should also try to make that movie interesting and entertaining. Otherwise you'll get a protracted documentary.
First of all, the title has almost nothing to do with the story. The story indeed follows the historical facts, but is told in such a messy way, full of illogical, irrational and unjustifiable events and decisions that it is tiresome to watch. You will find illogicality and complete idiocy even during the fight scenes. Moreover, this movie has no specific plot, no higher agenda and no epic moments, which all makes it difficult for the spectators to connect with the story.
The story is practically about just one person and I kept wondering why it is so. Throughout the whole movie, the main character is completely and utterly useless, failing each and every challenge in front of him. Call it a paradox, but he somehow managed to fail even when he was winning. I wonder if director's decision was to purposely make this character so weak and clumsy. If it was, it's a bad decision because no one wants to watch a 2-hour movie where the main protagonist is a weakling and an idiot. If it wasn't, then the director has totally failed at his creation. I didn't "see" the main character. I didn't believe in him for one moment. He is not strong, he is not smart, he is not a great warrior, and not a great leader. So why is he the main character?
I do not blame any of the actors, they really did their best. I blame the writers and the producers for ruining the potential this story had. Thus, I do not recommend this movie, there are far better ways to spend your time than watching this nonsense.
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