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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Battles > Epic > Drama > Northmen: A Viking Saga (2014/Anchor Bay DVD)

Northmen: A Viking Saga (2014/Anchor Bay DVD)

Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: C- Film: C

Claudio Fah's The Northmen: A Viking Saga (2014) is like a low budget mixture of Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and Thor, with a dash of 300 without the Fantasy element. Nope, no dragons or orcs here, though they would fit in nicely. Instead, the telling of a serious Viking story is attempted and yet the production design is surprisingly not as bad as one might thing (there are lots of aerial shots with epic lenses) but the digital effects are at times a bit cheesy. Though the film is in English, it was produced by a Swiss director and production house, which is why it looks a little foreign and doesn't have any American stars. I feel like if it would have some Hollywood names, it would have been a bit stronger.

The story centers around a group of Vikings in the ninth century who set sail for Britain, aiming to plunder the rich monasteries in the northern part of the island. But a storm smashes the ship to pieces on the rocks off the coast of Scotland, the only part of Britain without any Viking settlements. When the daughter of the Scottish King falls into their hands the Vikings see this as an opportunity to demand a large ransom. The King immediately sets his wolfpack - a group of mercenaries well known for their savagery - on the Vikings. Calling themselves the Northmen, they have to force their way through the rough highlands with the wolfpack close on their heels, a desperate race against time begins in a battle over life and death.

While the film isn't terrible, it feels very old hat and perhaps slightly a bit small for its big britches - meaning it's a little too overly ambitious. However, if you are a fan of Vikings (the show) or the culture in general then you may really enjoy this. Ryan Kwanten co-stars.

Presented in standard definition with an anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track, the film looks fine on disc thanks to a nice little release from Anchor Bay.

The only special feature is Northmen: A Look Inside A Viking Saga.

- James Harland Lockhart V



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