Valhalla Rising – Movie Review
1000 AD, for years, One Eye, a mute warrior of supernatural strength, has been held prisoner by the Norse chieftain Barde. Aided by Are, a boy slave, One Eye slays his captor and together he and Are escape, beginning a journey into the heart of darkness. On their flight, One Eye and Are board a Viking vessel, but the ship is soon engulfed by an endless fog that clears only as the crew sights an unknown land. As the new world reveals its secrets and the Vikings confront their terrible and bloody fate, One Eye discovers his true self.
Valhalla Rising is by Nicholas Winding Refn. And basically, what it is, although it takes most of the 92 minutes to figure it out, is a retelling of the legend of “One Eye” coming to the New World. One Eye is a Viking and so what I eventually figured out was that it was a telling or retelling of the Vikings landing in North America hundreds of years before Columbus. It is a very violent film. There’s almost no dialog in it. But it has it’s own kind of weird, atmospheric rhythm to it. Mads Mikkelsen, who I think is a terrific actor, is in it. He plays One Eye, who is first a prisoner and then escapes. Meanwhile there’s a young boy who was kind to him when he was a captive and stays by his side throughout the movie. I mean, this is either a movie you’re going to like or you’re not going to like. It is incredibly violent. There are no women in it. It’s 92 minutes, it’s some great scenery. And it would have helped probably if the Vikings had not had Scottish and Irish accents which is just kind of confusing. Maybe they did. But it’s a bit disorienting because of that. I kind of liked it. I would give it two and a half stars just for difference and Mads Mikkelsen who is a terrific actor.