I have to start by saying that I can see why so many people are raving about The Northman. It is an epic Viking movie brought to us by Robert Eggers and for the most part, I liked what I saw. I just feel that there were a few things that if tweaked, would have made this a movie I would have probably gone and seen again in the theatre.
How to Stream or Download The Northman
You can stream it or you can download the film from a digital store. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. If you like Anna Taylor Joy check her out also in Split (2016), Glass (2019), and The New Mutants (2020).
The Movie Review
The plot of The Northman is one that on paper is very easy to get behind. As a child, Amleth sees his father The King, betrayed and murdered by his uncle, he also loses his mother at this time too. He vows to get revenge for his father’s murder and save his mother, he obsesses over this and that is what the story is about…. Kind of.
I say kind of because, there are some complicated twists and turns, not to mention romantic interests that happen during Amleth’s quest for revenge. The cast of the movie which includes Alexander Skarsgård, Anna Taylor Joy, Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang, Willem Defoe, and Ethan Hawke to name a few, brings these characters to life in a very impressive way.
I feel that The Northman is at its best when it is embracing the Norse mythology I think that this is pretty cool and I wish that there was more of it. I am not saying that they should have gone full fantasy with it, but I think they could have gone more in that direction and it would have been a better movie for it.
What is here is not bad at all, but I think for me personally, I would have preferred more “fantasy” over what we got. On the flip side of this, the way that the movie ultimately is, is a huge reason why so many people like it and see it as more of a “historical epic” kind of movie than a typical Hollywood action movie.
Speaking of action, there are some amazing action scenes here, seeing Vikings in action is always a lot of fun and I think the only thing holding things back is a lack of blood. They clearly did not want an R rating, but I think showing the violence and blood might have made the battles have even more impact. The battles that are here are great, but you always feel that the gruesome stuff happens off-screen.
One area that The Northman well and truly blew me away was the sound design, this movie has one of the most epic scores I have heard in a very long time. It gets you pumped up for the battles and it is so good, I will be paying the extra for the 4K release when it is available just for the Dolby Atmos track alone. I think this may be the best score I have heard in a movie so far in 2022.
I know that I may have made it seem like I did not like this movie, but I actually did. I just feel that had I known it was not going to go all in with the fantasy/mythology stuff I may have enjoyed it more. It is a truly epic movie and I can see why so many people have fallen in love with it, but for me, it never quite went past just being good.
- The cast brings these characters to life very well
- There are some epic action scenes here
- I really enjoyed the more “fantasy” dream-like moments the movie had
- The score in this movie is the best I have heard so far in 2022
- This is a personal preference, but I really do wish it leaned more into the fantasy aspect of the story
- I feel they should have gone for the R rating and showed the blood, violence, and nudity more