The Northman is a perfect candidate for Mystery Science Theater 3000. Mystery Science Theater 300 is a television program that is set on a space ship where the occupants must watch the worst films of all time and we are able to listen to their critical remarks about the films.
The Northman is based on the legend of Amleth from Viking mythology. It features Alexander Skarsgard as Amleth who has sworn to avenge his father’s death. The film follows his adventures searching to complete his revenge.
The script features the burning of children, rape, incest, torture, slaughter of masses of people, and the taking of slaves. All of which is done with as much brutality as possible. Heads roll, hearts are cut out, swords split faces, guts spill out, along with every violent and ugly physical action humans can take out on an other.
Some of the characters howl like wolves while others appear to be under the influence of drugs as they carry out various obnoxious activities.
Now all of that could be effective (even though it’s ugly to watch) but the direction of the film leaves the audience laughing as the extreme over-the-top antics of the characters.
The scenery as background and many of the night sky impressions are visually spectacular, but the story line if far too much to enjoy. Two hours and 17 minutes feels like at least three hours.
The final chapter at the entrance to hell looks like Chapter 3 of the Star Wars series, a battle between Amleth and his perceived enemy with fire shooting up behind them from a volcano, but it lacks emotion and by then all I wanted to see was The End on the screen.
Tony Curtis made a film called: The Vikings in 1958 it appeared a bit like a popular comic strip of the time ‘Prince Valiant’ but it produced some real emotion from the characters.
I hope this is the worst film I see this year, it would be difficult to sit through anything more inferior.