The broad shadow of ‘Game of Thrones’ creator George RR Martin looms over this entertaining microbudget medieval saga: heads are lopped, mouths are foul, breasts are bared (both male and female), and people are bumped off at the drop of a horned helmet. The story is essentially ‘Apocalypse Now’ – now being AD 871 – as Viking prince Steinar (Charlie Bewley) is ordered by his dying father to track down long lost big brother Hakan (Elliot Cowan), who is rumoured to have gone native in the wild British woodland. The film suffers from a number of traits common to the DIY filmmaking scene: the digital effects are ropey, the acting tends towards the overemphatic and the soundtrack is dire. But the director, ‘Doctor Who’ veteran Farren Blackburn has a great eye for an ominous landscape, and the script by regular Nicolas Winding Refn collaborator Matthew Read doesn’t mess about, thundering from one muddy, sword-swinging set-piece to the next. It’s hardly high art, but for a cheapjack homegrown action flick this is surprisingly solid.
Cast and crew