VALHALLA RISING (2009 DENMARK UK) D/W: NICOLAS WINDING-REFN W: ROY JACOBSEN P: JOHNNY ANDERSEN/BO EHRHARDT/HENRIK DANSTRUP
A mute one-eyed "heathen" Norse warrior-slave (Mads Mikkelsen) escapes his captors (with young boy in tow), and embarks on a small group of Vikings` holy crusade (in the early 11th Century). Have they traveled to Hell itself? And is One-Eye a psychic oracle? Slow-moving, hypnotic metaphysical adventure (not short on grim violence) will divide audiences. I went with it, and thought it was a pretty interesting and ambitious, if slight meditation on the human condition, wrapped in the trappings of Robert E. Howard`s worlds. Others will see a po-faced, pretentious bore masquerading as exploitation-art. With Gary Lewis (and his young son), and some (forgivable, unobtrusive) anachronisms. It was shot in Scotland, by Morten Soborg (who also shot Refn`s PUSHER trilogy). It came hot-on-the-heels of Refn`s excellent BRONSON.

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