Valhalla Rising (15)

Film

Action and adventure

WALHALLA_RISING_02.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Tue Apr 27 2010

This is a brutal, mesmerising film from Dane Nicolas Winding Refn (‘Pusher’, ‘Bronson’), dominated by Mads Mikkelsen as a mute fighter, whose journey from twelfth-century Scotland to a strange New World is an odyssey of self-realisation. Enslaved by a pagan Scottish clan chieftain, the nameless warrior is chained and forced to fight to the death in hand-to-hand bouts staged for amusement and betting. Escaping with the help of a young boy, who names him One-Eye, the warrior learns to use weapons and joins a band of Vikings, but these are Christian converts bound for Jerusalem to reclaim the city for their faith. Their ship, however, is enveloped by a mysterious mist, which finally lifts to reveal an unknown land. Lost, hungry and under attack from the natives, the Viking converts lose their faith and lose their minds, turning on one another – but the enigmatic One-Eye discovers his destiny and embraces his essential self.  

There are shades here of Terrence Malick’s elemental feel for landscape, the doomed colonial enterprise of Werner Herzog’s ‘Aguirre, Wrath of God’ and Vincent Ward’s visionary ‘The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey’, yet Refn makes this hypnotic, dreamlike film entirely his own. The pace slows like a fighter’s heart in the second half, demanding an act of faith that some may find hard after the early intensity. But the breathtaking digital photography and an atmospheric electronic score sustain the mood, and for those who see this savage journey through to the end, there are riches aplenty.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Apr 30, 2010

Duration:

90 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

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LiveReviews|6
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Da Film Expert

There are errors in this review; the boy DOES NOT help in the escape at all. He only tags along after the fact. The people are not shown as hungry for food during most of the time even though they should be. They are shown wanting water at one point but they are never shown eating and in reality would be so weak from starving they would not even be able to walk after the voyage. They also toss a dead body overboard during the voyage; somehing that would never happen if they were truly starving...that body would be devoured. But this is a film that has no logic to it...it's ART after all. They somehow mange to cross the Atlantic but have no supplies with them. And the Allantic is generally as calm as a lake. Right. It's a surreal film and as others say; a real waste of talent...it's missing a plot and makes not a bit of sense—more like a long weird dream sequence. A Director so desperate to say something but cannot— except for a boring high concept vagueness—and there's plenty of that already in the art world. It was lovely to look at but after a while the soundtrack got annoying and shot after shot was the same— vast spaces and the vacant look of the main character. A real lack of the main character's sense; after fighting hard to survive in the first part...the fighter just gives up to the Indians. As portrayed up to that point; this guy would have gone down fighting and probably taken quite a few Indians with him. Then the Indians walk away leaving the blonde boy standing there....like they would not even be curious. Right. And all the Christian jibberish...just became absurd. A real confused mess. An Art School concept but with a big budget..and a waste of time. A ridiculous film trying way too hard to be an artsy stylistic wonder...but in the end has nothing to say but confusion. Director should put down the hash pipe and hire a scriptwriter next time.

Spoiler Hater

I agree with Nigel Floyd's assessment and I agree with Tabula Rasa. I'm really glad I only read the review after watching the film. Why not just stop after the first sentence (and even leave out the bit about the new world and the odyssey) and then pick up again with the second and last paragraph? I tend to agree with Time Out film reviews (though you tend to be a bit soft on the classics and on UK productions) but I usually stop at the star rating, watch the film and then read the review. I suspect some of you film writers wish you were writing for Les Cahiers du Cinéma

andrew

I don't know what your on at the moment Nigel Floyd but you carry on like this you could be out of a job. Garbage Film.!

Avie

I saw this movie two days ago and can't stop thinking about it. The clash between the beauty of the world and the brutality of living in it is difficult to fathom. But the beauty of the dying in it is stunning. Life, death, religious colonialism and the fading of the old gods are all present. This movie clings to you like the almost unnoticed incessant soundtrack.

Avie

I saw this movie two days ago and can't stop thinking about it. The clash between the beauty of the world and the brutality of living in it is difficult to fathom. But the beauty of the dying in it is stunning. Life, death, religious colonialism and the fading of the old gods are all present. This movie clings to you like the almost unnoticed incessant soundtrack.

Sam`

What film was this movie critic watching?! There were no riches a plenty! This film is a self indulgent waste of an amazing cast and a fantastic character. Refn has a lot to answer for here.