Espen "Ash Lad", a poor farmer's son, embarks on a dangerous quest with his brothers to save the princess from a vile troll known as the Mountain King - in order to collect a reward and save his family's farm from ruin.
Nordic king Erik orders his heiress Kristian, who turned down all suitors, to marry Danish prince Fredrik (Frederic) before her 18th birthday, as legend holds she'll otherwise fall to the 'mountain king' of trolls. Instead she makes a fugue into the very mountains, and the king promises her hand and royal dowry to whoever rescues her. Prince Fredrik sets out with his burly retainers, but faces unexpected competition from three peasant brothers. Playful, clumsy Espen Askeladd (ash lad') always tested his farmer father's patience, unable to get any chores done, but is just chased in disgrace after 'accidentally' burning down the homestead. His strict eldest brother Per and glutton middle brother Pal set out to search for the princess to earn enough to rebuild the farm, and finding Espen trail along allow him to join. He picks up seemingly useless objects and earns, by kindness to a witch, a magical map. Their party and the prince's rival bitterly while facing dangers on the road to the ...Written by
Superb visual experience, entertaining story, great production quality
1. The movie is visually beautiful. They really did their best to choose the scenery. Every frame is beautiful. The colors are vivid yet natural. The whole movie looks very nice but real, unlike most Hollywood fantasy films that are 95% computer generated. True visual pleasure.
2. The story is obviously based on folklore and old legends everyone is used to. But somehow the writers still managed to make it interesting and captivating not just for a kid but for an adult too. The ending is not trivial but good and feels rewarding. The writers made an attempt to modernize the character of the traditionally passive fairy princess. Made her more active yet kept her natural.
3. Scenery is splendid, fights are powerful, chases are fast, actors are good looking. Those characters who must look scary, look scary but not revolting. CGI are believable yet few. Sound is good, music is good (they even put Grieg into soundtrack and it feels in place). Story is very good. Action flows fast, it's full of suspense. You are not bored and you don't lose track of what's going on. Jokes are good and not of the stale kind. It's a kind of movie to watch again.
For fellow Russian viewers I have to mention that Russian dubbing is surprisingly good.
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