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Valhalla Rising (2010)

Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Gordon Brown, Gary Lewis, more...
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
    see all cast/crew...
Genre: Action, Foreign, Scandinavia, Adventure, Wilderness & Nature
Running Time: 93 min.
Languages: English

A man with a remarkable talent for violence must fight to survive when he sets out on an extraordinary journey in this fantasy from director Nicolas Winding Refn. One Eye (Mads Mikkelsen) is the nickname given to a nameless, mute warrior who has become a slave to Barde (Alexander Morton), a wealthy Scotsman who obtained One Eye for his remarkable fighting skills. One Eye is a fierce warrior but shows little loyalty to his master, and when the opportunity presents itself, One Eye murders Barde and his mercenaries and sets off on his own, with a young boy (Maarten Stevenson) tagging along to speak on his behalf. Eager to leave Denmark behind in favor of freedom and adventure, One Eye throws in his lot with a band of Christian Vikings, who've set out on an ambitious quest to travel to Jerusalem and claim the Holy Land as their own. But the voyage to the Holy City is a difficult one, and the Vikings are met with violent resistance, forcing One Eye to rely on his talents as a warrior to protect himself and his young apprentice. Valhalla Rising received its North American premiere at the 2009 Toronto Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, AMG

GreenCine Daily PODCAST:

The latest from Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson, The Pusher Trilogy) is the austere and brutal 12th-century epic Valhalla Rising, what Aaron (GreenCine Daily editor) elsewhere called "a trippy nightmare of savage poetry burning slow across bleak and otherworldly landscapes." These ain't your daddy's Vikings. Before the film's premiere, Refn called from sunny California to discuss his "hallucinogenic drug" Valhalla Rising, how he made both this film and last year's Bronson simultaneously, and why Mads Mikkelsen never gets invited to his birthday parties.

Listen to the podcast. Full article >>.

GreenCine Member Reviews

Director Refn Couldn't Hit a Thumbtack With Thor's Hammer by Hallucination November 30, 2010 - 6:38 PM PST
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
I wish this film had more of a point of view. Instead I was left feeling empty, unenlightened, and bored. Though it has some beautifully bleak landscape cinematography, it never delivers with deeper themes or meanings; it's all mud and no substance. Mads does a great job at brooding, but his character, because of the thin writing, never really develops past that stage. The story -- what there is of it -- initially hints at some kind of friction between silent main character One Eye's savage paganism and the religious fervor displayed by a band of Christian warriors he joins, but it disappointingly only plays out in minor and superficial fashion. So many missed opportunities in this movie to say something interesting or significant, but all fell by the wayside, victim to another director who fell in love with his camerawork to the detriment of the big picture.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.10)
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