Movie: Vikingdom starring Dominic Purcell

This is a bootleg version with the image reversed, and the credits cut out to bypass the censors. B-movie all the way.

The cover image has nothing to do with this movie.

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Vikingdom starring Dominic Purcell – (2013) 2 stars

Run time: 1 hour, 40 minutes. Okay, this movie has a lot of strikes against it, from its medium budget to its stereotypical, bland acting to bad ratings. Going past all that, I wanted to see how they handled Viking lore, a diverse team of characters and some other technical aspects such as how a Norse god might be killed. Here is how they did.

First off, somebody had a good foundation of Viking mythology. That’s a big plus for me after having studied that in-depth for my Dobrynia’s Path series of books. The movie got several key points right, with Thor’s red hair and Frey’s blonde radiance and the basic idea of souls being brought back to life to serve the gods. In this case it was not a Valkyrie, but Frey’s sister Freya who revived main character Erick.

Parts where they screwed up: Valhalla is presented as a bad place. This is the heaven / paradise of the Norse gods, and we’re supposed to be afraid of it? The way the Norse pantheon comes across is similar to what we see in Greco-Roman mythology, where the gods are always manipulating humanity for their own ends. This didn’t happen in Viking fables. The Norse gods were the good guys who fought with bravery and honor. If any deception was going on half-god Loki did it. Thor was never the Satanic figure as shown in this movie.

The artifacts that supposedly would open the gates of Valhalla, if bound together with magic, were a very weak association. There was no rational connection between these items.

That Garm creature was a very strange creation. It appeared as half dog and half T-Rex. There were some interesting facets to this movie’s idea of what a Viking hell might look like, from the dead soldiers to the sirens luring dead men’s souls. However, these are more based on Renaissance ideas of hell than on the original Norse legends. The physical look of hell was a disappointment. All we really got were close-ups.

The characters were all bland and dumb. You can’t have a bunch of bodybuilders as Vikings because there simply wasn’t enough for brawny men to eat to maintain that kind of muscle. (Look at historical Germany, Ireland, Scotland and Scandinavia for correct body types.) The female archer was a crappy love interest because she was middle class when compared to Erick’s high nobility. The Asian martial arts fighter was a nice, spicy addition to the Viking flavor, injecting a visually interesting fighting style to the heavy repetition of axe and sword swings, but he didn’t get enough of a chance to develop into a real person. He was a cartoon, as were most of the other heroes and villains. Erick’s role had very little growth and almost no enthusiasm. He didn’t even look like a Viking but more like a big Native American. I guess they were going for the Conan look, but they didn’t really get it. All supporting roles were plastic, 2D people, including the Druid mage.

The plot was gone with the idea of putting together three artifacts. That didn’t make sense as far as combining powers goes to open a portal. It didn’t make sense even magically because the Christian artifact would have had an entirely different energy to it. By contrast, the horn and hammer were objects of war.

This idea that all villains have to twist the plot around right before the big, climactic fight at the end of a movie really drives me crazy. It is completely unnecessary, as if all bad guys are nowadays are backstabbing curs with no true honor. Think of Darth Vader here as a good example of a real villain, and not cowards who trick people like ladies in a Medieval court. Erick’s brother as a king of mercenaries was the worst role in the movie. First off, mercenaries don’t form standing armies like that. They do a job, and then they move on to the next job working for somebody else. Second, Erick was a pussy for not calling out his brother right away. They would have fought, Erick would have won, and there he is in charge of kingdom with all these mercenaries just hanging out while doing nothing.

Okay, finally we get to the big battle at the end. Thor does the Darth Vader bit and reveals he is Erick’s father. That was pretty stupid and pointless. Next, Frey reveals how he tricked Erick into getting all the items together, except Erick didn’t get any items at all. Thor already had two of them and the Druid nearly gave up the last one. There was no reason to get Erick involved into this mess at all. So Thor can raid and destroy a Christian settlement, but he can’t go see an old man in a cage?

Did you notice how none of the archers had quivers to draw their arrows from? You’d think they would run out of arrows in a pitched fight, but they didn’t. The archers didn’t even have secondary weapons. Anyway, this movie was mostly made of cheese, with a couple of instances of what a real movie should look like. The characters got together, they went out for adventure and it all worked out in the end. If you like movies produced by high school students, this might be the one for you.

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