Opens unpromisingly despite Ethan Hawke… actors laboriously declaiming portentous dialogue in fake accents. It does start to get trippy, with more CG than expected (incl. cartoon-ass animals), and at the “years later” jump the tedious-to-thrilling ratio is 50/50. Subwoofer cinema, a sonically unpleasant movie – I should’ve played the Harriet Tubman album again. Alexander Skarsgård (Florence Pugh’s fake bf in Little Drummer Girl) swears revenge, loses his way, meets Björk, swears revenge again, kills Fjölnir’s son and refuses to say where he’s hidden the heart. Lotta people get chopped up with swords. Three good performances in this: Björk > Skarsgård > Dafoe
Willow Maclay argues there are four good performances:
Nicole Kidman also gives one of her best performances in some time as an incestual madwoman, driven berserk by the times, and dripping with salacious fury in her scene of revelation. This contrasts with her elegant work as a Queen and mother, and suggests that a proper feminine presentation can be hiding a cannibalistic fury behind doors.
Virtually every landscape is CGI’ed to the point of absurdity. The Northman strives for the painterly but more closely resembles those 4K test images they show on the TVs at Costco.