Movie Reviews

Movie Review: THE NORTHMAN Starring Alexander Skarsgard, Nicole Kidman

Posted: April 22, 2022 at 11:43 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Special by Tanya Miget

Bloody and brutal are two words I would use to describe Robert Eggers new film. I’d also say that The Northman is well done and a hell of a good film.

The film is visually stunning, conjuring up memories of another visually stylish film, 300. But, unlike 300, The Northman delivers. The movie opens in AD 895, as a young Amleth sees his father, King Aurvandill, played by Ethan Hawke suffering from his scars from battle.

Aurvandill wastes little time getting his son ready for battle, as he takes the boy down into a cave for a ritual along with Willem Dafoe’s character Heimir. In what is really a weird and goofy ceremony, the men get down on all fours, chant and holler all while inhaling hallucinogenic smoke.

Aurvandill’s timing is perfect, as he is soon betrayed by his brother, Fjolinir and the revenge tale is set in motion.

For just his third film, and most expensive yet, Eggers has shown he has an eye for historically correct films. In 2015s The Witch, Eggers is spot on accurate from the dialogue spoken in the film down to the detail of how the setting looks. Again in 2019s The Lighthouse, set in the 1880s, Eggers went all out on the reproduction of a 70-foot lighthouse. He even made Dafoe learn how to knit for the movie.

Skarsgard, who once played Tarzan, is the perfect actor for the role of Amleth, who is out for revenge. He undoubtedly went through hours of training to get his body looking lean and up to the task of playing a vengeful warrior. There’s not a person in the movie who looks better without a shirt on.

While The Northman is predictable like most revenge flicks, Eggers and Skarsgard go above and beyond to shell out the blood and violence that awaits the wrongdoers. The violence in the film is aplenty. Homes are burned, villages are pillaged and no one is spared, not even children. Yet, despite the bloody violence, you won’t stop watching. The film is that masterfully done. Eggers has a distinct way of taking the color out of certain shots and makes the action seem even more inconceivable.

While the film does have its hurdles to overcome, such as Bjork. I found her character rather boring and wasted. I also felt Nicole Kidman’s character was a bit underutilized. The Northman may have its small issues here and there, but overall, it’s one of the better films to open this year. I’d put it right up there with The Batman. With a master filmmaker like Eggers at the helm, this is one film that should be seen on the big screen. Eggers manages to make an extremely violent film into a work of art.