It’s 9th century England, Saxons battling their Vikings invaders, and the Vikings’ grip is weakening. The film opens with a quick melee, and we’re quickly introduced to the fierce (unfortunately, English-speaking) Vikings: Grim, Jokul, Hagen, and Prince Steinar. The King, Steinar’s dad, is injured and dying. He sends Steinar to a ‘Saving Private Ryan’ mission to locate and bring back Hakan, Steinar’s older brother and King’s first-born that was mysteriously banished many years before, to succeed him as the next king. While Harald, Steinar’s half-brother–obviously the King has plenty of legitimate and illegitimate kids–also has his own plans.
These battle-machine Vikings are not completely without moral values, but the movie’s depiction keeps undermining this. They believe so much in their Norse gods, resent their opponent’s Christian god, and along the way on their perilous quest they set free a local woman who is about to be stoned to death by some villagers… only to axe her dead themselves a moment later. They are so blood-thirsty they–quite ironically–keep mindlessly murdering each other over unresolved arguments and sibling rivalries. A king is born on blood? In this case, on their own kin’ s blood.
My Rating: 5/10