The Northman (2022)

The film begins with a young prince named Amleth, who takes part in a ritual with his wounded father, King Aurvandil War-Raven (Ethan Hawke).  The ritual introduces Prince Amleth to the world of manhood.  As he enters this new stage of his life, the prince promises to avenge his father if he’s ever murdered or killed in combat.  It’s not long until the prince witnesses a tragic betrayal resulting in his father’s brutal murder.  With no choice, Prince Amleth flees from home, vowing to return at an older age seeking revenge for his father’s death and attempting to save his mother, Queen Gudrun (Nicole Kidman).

Jumping forward in time, we see Prince Amleth (Alexander Skarsgard) as an adult taking on the personality of a bloodthirsty werewolf and part of a dangerous, murderous Viking clan.  A vision tells Prince Amleth that it’s now the time to return home and hunt those who wronged him and his family.  He decides to flee from the Viking clan to dish out slow and painful torment.

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4179_D034_00452_R Alexander Skarsgård stars as Amleth in director Robert Eggers’ Viking epic THE NORTHMAN, a Focus Features release. Credit: Aidan Monaghan / © 2022 Focus Features, LLC

The Northman is best described as an action film filled with thrilling and suspenseful moments.  It is also a gritty revenge tale filled with unsettling moments that will have viewers on the edge of their seats or perhaps even tensed up.  The action here is brutal, dark, gritty and violent.  Amleth decides revenge should be slow and toys with those who wronged him first, leading to many big reveals and showdowns along the way.

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4179_D066_00029_RC2 Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Olga in director Robert Eggers’ Viking epic THE NORTHMAN, a Focus Features release. Credit: Aidan Monaghan / © 2022 Focus Features, LLC

Directed by Robert Eggers (best known for The Lighthouse and The Witch), some moments feel familiar, especially to The Witch.  While some visual moments are familiar, it’s still jaw-dropping to watch, even if certain visions or aspects don’t quite resonate or make sense at first.  Action scenes feel raw, and some of the film’s violence shook me, but I was still entertained by what felt like a highly realistic Viking film.  I admired the way the director pushed the bar as high as possible.  The story attempts to surprise viewers with big reveals, but I never seemed surprised.  Most moments are fairly obvious and predictable, but I still enjoyed seeing everything come together and unfold.

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4179_D076_00046_RC4 Nicole Kidman stars as Queen Gudrún in director Robert Eggers’ Viking epic THE NORTHMAN, a Focus Features release. Credit: Aidan Monaghan / © 2021 Focus Features, LLC

Performances here are a complete knockout, and honestly, I can’t fault any of them.  Previously, I can’t say I’ve ever been a huge fan of actor Alexander Skarsgard, but here, I can’t deny he has delivered a remarkable performance.  He has physically transformed and is rather convincing as a murderous, revengeful Viking.  Other performances, including Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke and even a brief appearance from Willem Dafoe, are all unforgettable.  The soundtrack is a perfect match to the haunting atmosphere, and the same can be said about the sound effects, which were a major standout.  Those who admire great costumes will be impressed with what’s on display.

The-Northman-Main-4
4179_D086_00013_RC2 (l to r.) Oscar Novak stars as Young Amleth, Ethan Hawke as King Aurvandil and Nicole Kidman as Queen Gudrún in director Robert Eggers’ Viking epic THE NORTHMAN, a Focus Features release. Credit: Aidan Monaghan / © 2022 Focus Features, LLC

Overall, Robert Eggers has delivered another stunning film.  This film is loaded with beautiful visuals, including dream sequences and beautiful landscapes.  The film itself is dark, violent, gritty and brutal, and I was highly entertained for the entire duration, even if some moments flew over my mind at first.  Aspects relating to the plot are a little predictable, but I still smiled watching everything unfold from start to finish.  Performances are tremendous and can’t be faulted.  This feature won’t be for everyone, especially given the many disturbing unsettling moments.  Those familiar with the director’s craft and skill will know what to expect, and here the director is playing with a bigger budget than fans have experienced previously.  I found myself admiring this film visually, and its story had me by the veins; it’s a wonderful and memorable achievement for cinema.

9.0/10

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

21st April 2022
Written by Peter Walkden

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Based on a true story, King Richard takes a look back in time to witness the journey of two tennis superstars.  Following the life and upbringing of Venus and Serena Williams, we witness where it all began.  The film’s lead, Richard Williams (played by Will...

Midnight In The Switchgrass (2021)

Based on a true story, Midnight in the Switchgrass follows two Texan FBI agents, Karl (Bruce Willis) and his current partner Rebecca (Megan Fox).  The two agents are currently investigating a case relating to sex trafficking, and they are hoping to close the case...

Claw (2021)

Two friends, Julia (Chynna Walker) and Kyle (Richard Rennie) are on a road trip to get Julia to an important show she's featuring in (stand-up comedy).  Kyle is along for the ride to help drive and provide general support where possible.  But while driving,...

For the Sake of Vicious (2020)

Set on Halloween, the film introduces a hard-working nurse named Romina (Lora Burke).  After finishing a long shift, Romina goes straight home, but when she walks through her front door, she soon finds she’s not alone.  A stranger is hiding out in her house,...

Red Rocket (2021)

Mikey Saber (Simon Rex) travels by bus back to his hometown in Texas City with only $22 in his wallet.  Freshly arrived in town, he knocks on the door to his wife's house, Lexi (Bree Elrod), who lives with her mother.  Covered in bruises and scars resulting...

Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)

Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) lives with her older brother Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and her mother Callie (Carrie Coon). Daily, the family struggle to make ends meet and are even evicted from their current home. Soon the family receives word that Phoebe's grandfather has...

Apex (2021)

Set in the future, Thomas Malone (Bruce Willis) is currently in prison, serving a life sentence for a crime he was not involved in. Thomas is an ex-police officer and has a past resumé which makes him a human deadly weapon.  Invited to be the prey in a dangerous,...

The King’s Man (2021)

You'd be forgiven for thinking you'd stumbled across a rather twisted and regal version of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure when you first read the plot outline of "The Kings Man." A collection of history's very worst criminals and tyrants are plotting to wipe out...

The Matrix Resurrections (2021)

Continuing on from The Matrix Revolutions (2003), we meet Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves), a well-known software developer. Known for developing many creative video games, Thomas feels lost and almost robotic as he completes his daily routines.  He begins to see...

Licorice Pizza (2021)

Set in San Fernando, 1973, Licorice Pizza follows the life of two young people- Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman), a celebrity superstar and Alana Kane (Alana Haim).  Gary is convinced that Alana is the love of his life, but there is just one problem.  His new...

Sing 2 (2021)

Following the original Sing (2016), Buster Moon (Voiced again by Matthew McConaughey) and his ragtag theatre troops are faced with a new and exciting challenge.   The challenge is unlike anything they've done before, to pursue a reclusive rock star named...

West Side Story (2021)

Based on the well-known Broadway musical (1957), West Side Story (2021) explores various themes and stories, including a dangerous rivalry between two street gangs of different ethnicity.  One gang calls themselves the Jets and the other the Sharks.  On the...

Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

Continuing from where we left Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and his close friends in Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019), the entire world now knows the secret identity of Spider-Man.  Peter now spends his days dealing with the public, not to mention constant...

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021)

Set in the year 1998, Umbrella Corporation has kept Raccoon City alive. However, things worsen for the high-tech pharmaceutical company when suspicion grows within the community.  Strange mishaps occur, including unusual deaths, and several dead bodies randomly...

Henchmen (2018)

Set in the near future, the film follows a young man named Lester (Thomas Middleditch), who has a heart and passion for becoming the ultimate henchman. But becoming a skilled henchman takes hard work and regular attendance at "Union of Evil", the school of...

Rose Plays Julie (2019)

Rose (Ann Skelly) thinks about her mother all the time. She wonders what kind of life she is living and what her mother is doing. She also thinks about what it would look like if the two were ever to meet face to face.  What kind of conversations would they have,...

Dune (2021)

Based on the well-known science fiction novel written by Frank Herbert, Dune follows Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), the son of a noble and well-respected family. Paul begins to have unexplained visions and dreams, which could be visions of moments from his future....

The Card Counter (2021)

Beginning with narration from William Tell (Oscar Isaac), we find out key details about this character's past.  Some of the important details include the fact William served a long time in prison and, while bored behind bars, he decided to learn and master the...

The Advent Calendar (2021)

Eva (Eugénie Derouand) has been a paraplegic since a tragic accident three years ago. Currently, Eva enjoys swimming as a hobby and gets by financially working for an insurance company.  When Eva’s birthday comes around close to Christmas time, it seems she will...

Ditched (2021)

Melina (Marika Sila), a paramedic, and a group of other people wake up in an upside-down ambulance.  Shocked and surprised, Melina and the other survivors attempt to recall what happened to cause the ambulance to flip and crash. Melina recalls she was in the...

The Tunnel: The Other Side of Darkness (2021)

When it comes to Australian cinema, it’s no secret that we’ve all seen films that are just another found footage movie. Thankfully, some films were quite successful, memorable, and different from the rest. One of them was a mockumentary, The Tunnel, which was released...

The Tunnel (2011)

Natasha (Bel Belia) has carefully assembled her team, which consists of Peter (Andy Rodoreda), Steve (Steve Miller) and Tangles (Luke Arnold).  This group of journalists are investigating several government cover-ups relating to water, homelessness, history, and...

Titane (2021)

To describe this film’s plot in writing is one of the biggest challenges I have come across as a film reviewer. Titane begins with moments that are either tragic or uncomfortable.  None of these moments quite make sense and are unexplainable and bizarre....

Battle Drone (2018)

The film begins with the introduction of six highly skilled mercenaries. After completing another successful mission, the CIA approaches the group’s captain, Vincent Reikker (Louis Mandylor), with another job requiring him to reassemble the team and fly out to...

Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021)

Continuing on from Venom (2018), Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is a host for the alien symbiote known as Venom. In the present day, Eddie is determined to get his life back on track.  Right now, he’s known for being a failed reporter, currently single and struggling to...

The Browning Version (1994)

After teaching for over eighteen years, Andrew Crocker-Harris (Albert Finney) is wrapping up his final days. His wife Laura (Greta Scacchi) will also be retiring after serving fifteen years.  When the school’s headmaster reveals to the students that Mr Andrew...

Best Sellers (2021)

Harris Shaw (Michael Caine) is an exhausted and angry old author who has since retired from writing. He lives his days trying to write on his typewriter while drinking alcohol and smoking heavily. Harris has decided to hide from the rest of the world, putting signs on...

Blue Bayou (2021)

Set in Louisiana, the film follows a Korean-American man named Antonio (Justin Chon).  Antonio lives with his partner Kathy (Alicia Vikander), who is currently pregnant, and his step-daughter Jessie (Sydney Kowalske). Right at the start of the film, we learn that...

Home Sweet Home Alone (2021)

Max Mercer is a 10-year old who has desires to get some quiet time away from his family. His wish is granted by mistake when Max is left home alone after his family fly out to Tokyo. On the flip side, we are also introduced to a married couple named Rob (Jeff...

The War Below (2021)

During World War I, the British are losing the fight as the German forces grow stronger each day and take more ground.  Soon, a major discovery is made that the Germans are working underground, keeping their forces hidden from the battlefield. ...

A Reflection of Fear (1972)

A young girl named Marguerite (Sondra Locke) lives with her mother and grandmother in New England. Marguerite lives a disturbing life with several things daily haunting her.  She also has conversations with a mysterious person who lives in her bedroom.  But...