Things I learnt about Vikings from watching this film:
- Thor dyes his hair. Is he going grey under that terrible red hairdo? And what about those red contact lenses?
- Thor takes fashion advice from Games Workshop Elves. Check that helmet out.
- Vikings can climb cliffs like monkeys.
- Vikings can leap over walls like giant, vicious, violent fleas.
- Vikings used massed archery like a fifteenth-century English army.
- Metal kite shields were in common usage during the eighth century.
- Wrestling bears is a popular Viking hobby.
Things I was left wondering:
- Why is Thor trying to free the giants?
- Who am I kidding with all this historical pedantry?
This film uses the allure of the Viking to entice unwitting history buffs into watching it. Like Hammer of the Gods before it, it has nothing to do with real history and really belongs in the realm of fantasy. The Norsery is purely skin deep and provides little beyond some names and a plot. The film even lacks the momentum of Hammer of the Gods, so watching becomes tedious and the concentration wavers. I’m sure the answer to my question about freeing the giants was in there somewhere but I must have lost focus and missed that bit. I’m not sure I care enough about the film to watch it again to find out.
So, having let this post languish for ages, in a fit of mental sogginess I watched this film again today. I now understand. Thor wants to punish humanity for forsaking the old gods and wants to rule the earth. That makes sense then. What about the film though? Visually it felt like watching a computer game with grainy metallic colours throughout. The dialogue was quite wooden. There is lots of action and macho posturing. There’s lots of carnage in slow motion, if you like that sort of thing. You don’t have to think too hard about it all. In fact, I would recommend not thinking about it at all if you watch it. Just enjoy the ride and accept it for what it is: a cheaply made Viking movie with poor special effects. This is totally B-movie territory. It’s not quite in ‘so bad it’s good’ territory, but some might consider it so. Interestingly, I find myself slightly less negative about it now that I have watched it a second time. I wonder if that is because my expectations were suitably lowered.