Northmen – A Viking Saga: Review

Charlie Murphy film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Northmen - A Viking Saga: Review

They come from the land of the ice and snow…

Rather appropriately, Northmen starts with a shipwreck that leaves a troop of Vikings washed up on a rocky shore. After a quick scrap with the locals, they realise they’ve landed in Scotland, and must make their way south to safety. On the way, they pick up the king’s soothsayer daughter as well as some sort of medieval Jedi monk. Then there’s something about some Carpathian mercenaries trying to overthrow the king maybe, but it doesn’t really matter because the whole thing is tired old bobbins. This is nothing but a crass cash-in on the Game of Thrones phenomenon, entirely devoid of any original creative merit.

There’s lots of running around, some swooping mountain shots à la Lord of the Rings, and even more grizzly guys getting various sharp objects thrust into their stomachs. There’s also a lot of Centurion in this film, but while Neil Marshall’s Roman misfire had enough acting talent to keep it out of the bargain bin for a while, Northmen has no such saving grace.

True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten is woefully miscast as a monk who is bizarrely handy in a fight, while 71’s Charlie Murphy is wasted on a few token ‘spirited female’ lines and cheeky cleavage shots. Our hero (Merlin’s Tom Hopper) is nothing more than a poor-man’s Thor, clearly having spent more time lifting weights than reading the script (not that there’s much of a script to engage with). The rest of the Vikings may well have all been played by the same actor – there’s really no way to tell until the end credits roll.

Should you make it to the end credits, your perseverance would be worthy of a seat in Valhalla next to great Odin himself. There are three scenes in this film (running, fighting, and mumbling around a campfire) just repeated ad nauseam, hurtling towards a bewilderingly pointless finale. Die-hard fans of gory swords and hero hair might be tempted to have a look while they wait for the new season of Game of Thrones, but it’s only a couple of weeks away. Just hang in there.

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