Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ethan Hawke, Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang, Willem Dafoe, Björk, Gustav Lindh, and Elliott Rose
Director: Robert Eggers
Vengeance is a bloody, messy affair, and director Robert Eggers took that to heart with The Northman. It’s an epic worthy of the Norse Gods, accompanied by a booming score and vibrant visuals. Alexander Skarsgård carries the wrath of this film in every stare, slash, and guttural exclamation, making the action and dialogue all the more visceral. The characters’ motivations are pretty straightforward, making your connection to them a slight bit hollow, but when it comes to revenge, you’re not really looking for depth. You’re looking for blood. And blood you get.
Robert Eggers’ The Northman is a Viking revenge epic truly worthy of the term. Though it falls short on pacing and some character elements compared to the director’s other work, this hyper-faithful adaptation of the Icelandic story of Amleth is simultaneously furious and meditative. It’s a beast of a film with blood in its heart. Alexander Skarsgård owns the titular part, towering and menacing as an animal with a lust for vengeance, making this his and Eggers’ movie all the way. Though more engaging as a craftsman’s piece than enrapturing as a story, it’s a cinematic experience one won’t soon forget.
The Northman is glorious. Director/co-writer Robert Eggers’ viking revenge epic is pure indie Eggers, but with a $90 million dollar budget. Seriously, the crafts are absolutely nuts. It looks gorgeous, the production values are grand, the sound design is excellent, and it has an amazing score. The battle sequences are brutal and awesome too. The entire ensemble is incredible, but especially fantastic is Alexander Skarsgård, who is ferocious and super badass. Anya Taylor-Joy is also great; same with Nicole Kidman. While it could turn off some viewers, I really enjoyed the mythology the film presented. This is yet another win for Eggers.
With The Northman, a Gladiator meets Vikings hybrid, director Robert Eggers has delivered his most accessible film yet, but one that is still more artsy than mainstream. While the acting is strong and the story is intriguing, it suffers from issues that plague similar epics – namely, that it’s too long and tries to do too much. For example, Anya Taylor-Joy gives a good performance, but her character seems unnecessary. That said, the cinematography is absolutely breathtaking, so even if the story drags some, the stunning visuals stave off any boredom. Also, special shout-out to Alexander Skarsgård’s trap muscles on their upcoming Best Supporting Actor nomination.
Director Robert Eggers has crafted a gorgeous and authentic film that transports you back in time, and although it doesn’t quite flow seamlessly and is a tad overlong, it makes for an engaging epic. Led by Alexander Skarsgård, who excels in roles which ask him to be an imposing presence with scant yet poignant dialogue, the cast is airtight with surprising showings from Nicole Kidman and Claes Bang. It’s the cinematography, however, that shines the brightest. The visuals in this film are stunning and exactly what you’d expect from Eggers, a director who doesn’t seem to miss.
With The Northman, director Robert Eggers brings another haunting and visually beautiful film to life, this time in the form of a bloody revenge epic. The film is enhanced by its brooding and primal score, while the breathtaking cinematography only serves to highlight the brutality that takes place on screen. And even though everyone gives strong performances, Alexander Skasgård especially channels an animalistic performance that is Oscar worthy. The Northman may be Eggers’ best film yet.