Is The Northman the Viking movie to end all Viking movies? The ecstatic first reactions seem to indicate so.
Director Robert Eggers follows his acclaimed indie horror hits The Witch and The Lighthouse with this pummelling, period-authentic tale of bloody vengeance. Alexander Skarsgard plays the outcast 8th-century Norse prince Amleth who vows to track down and kill his ruthless uncle Fjolnir (Claes Bang) who murdered his father (Ethan Hawke), kidnapped his mother (Nicole Kidman) and seized the kingdom. The strong supporting cast includes Anya Taylor-Joy, Willem Dafoe and Bjork.
Eggers is renowned for his commitment to reality and research. For both The Witch and The Lighthouse, Eggers explored period texts from the films' respective eras, the 17th and 19th centuries, to better observe vocal idioms and cultural traditions.
The Northman aims to put memories of Kirk Douglas and his eye patch in 1958's The Vikings to bed. Instead, this is a gritty and plausible depiction red in tooth and claw, with an emphasis on authentic costumes and behaviours relative to the time.
Here are some of the reactions, which praise Skarsgard's performance, the brooding atmosphere and the no-holds-barred violence.
Sorry to be cryptic. I don’t want to say too much as I want to save it for the review. But yes, it’s not only his best one yet, but the best film of the year so far. Who cares about the Oscars when a film this good is released this early in the year. #TheNorthman— Linda Marric (@Linda_Marric) April 5, 2022
#TheNorthman is incredible. Like, fall-to-your-knees, ‘HOW the HELL did they do this?’ good. Breathtakingly gnarly too. It deserves to be a massive hit. EGGERS HIVE ASSEMBLE. pic.twitter.com/NpijhqV6g8— Cameron Frew (@FrewFilm) April 5, 2022
I've been a huge fan of Robert Eggers for years, but THE NORTHMAN is truly his masterpiece. Brutal, fearless, & audacious, it feels like the kind of cinematic epic we don't see very often anymore. It's a ferocious & stunning work of art & Alexander Skarsgård rules. #TheNorthman pic.twitter.com/Cs8Zgbktuc— Heather Wixson (@MMEFXBook out 10/20!) (@thehorrorchick) April 5, 2022
#TheNorthman is vicious and unforgivingly good. It’s a pretty astonishing achievement.— BD (@BrandonDavisBD) April 5, 2022
Alexander Skarsgård is insane for that performance. The man turns into an animal.
Robert Eggers delivers violent, gripping, and unforgettable levels of immersion. Really well done. pic.twitter.com/9cZHb1BdVy
Skarsgård is pure excellence in THE NORTHMAN. The whole movie is a trippy epic treat that will make you want to tear your shirt off and scream AAAAAAAARGH! like a Viking.— Prano Bailey-Bond (@pranobaileybond) April 5, 2022
#TheNorthman is BRUTAL. Skarsgård is oozing w/ revenge-fueled ferocity from start to finish. Loved the choice to capture so much -- action & dialogue-heavy beats -- in one shot. Lets the exceptional cast shine & ensures you feel every ounce of this movie's passion & aggression. pic.twitter.com/7nC2kfAUGo— Perri Nemiroff (@PNemiroff) April 5, 2022
Saw #TheNorthman last night in #NYC. It’s another visually spectacular film from @#RobertEggers. Violent, visceral and vengeance-filled, it is ripe with mysticism and murder and despite its occasionally psychedelic tone, may be his most accessible movie yet. pic.twitter.com/gCNM4mo0Rb— Richard Crouse (@RichardCrouse) April 5, 2022
Are you ready to take a journey with The Northman? The movie is released on 15th April.