Northmen – A Viking Saga is the story of a band of Vikings trying to survive as they travel through enemy territory. We begin with a shipwreck caused by a torrential storm off the coast of Scotland. Our heroes are then forced to traverse a dangerous and unknown land to try and find passage back to the North. In their quest, they capture a princess and become the targets of a King’s elite guardsmen. Many of our heroes are sent to Valhalla as they quest onward.
More than anything I appreciated that this film was shot on location instead of in front of a green-screen. Some parts of the film were enhanced by CGI, but 95% of the movie feels like a genuine adventure. The cast and crew had to endure the harsh elements of nature during production and it shows. We see our group of heroes travel through dangerous lands, and the dirt and the grime and fatigue of reality gives the film an organic and natural feel. The film was shot as if it were a Spaghetti Western, and it really comes across in the close-up shots and action scenes.
The film an ensemble piece full of excellent characters. Director Claudio Fäh stated that the actors spent long amounts of time detailing backstories for their roles, and the attitudes and mannerisms that show up on screen feel natural and genuine. Standout performances from Tom Hopper as the Viking leader Asbjorn and Ed Skrien as the vicious antagonist and leader of the King’s “Wolfpack” make the film rise far above it’s peers in terms of actors who just show up to phone it in and get paid.
Northmen – A Viking Saga is definitely for fans of the against all odds Odyssey picture. I would say that is is a distant cousin of films similar to The 13th Warrior and Erik the Viking. Imagine Walter Hill’s The Warriors with Vikings facing off against just one gang of vicious, medieval wardogs. The film definitely benefits from great supporting performances by Leo Gregory, Ken Duken, Darrell D’Silva and Charlie Murphy as the supernaturally touched Princess Inghean. Aside from a few moments of off-putting CGI and sluggish pacing, this movie is absolutely worth seeing. Check it out. To Valhalla!
Out of a Possible 5 Stars