30th Dec2014

‘Ragnarok: The Viking Apocalypse’ Review

by Richard Axtell

Stars: Sofia Helin, Pal Sverre Hagen, Nicolai Cleve Broch, Bjorn Sundquist, Maria Annette Tanderø Berglyd, Julian Podolski, Jens Hultén, Terje Strømdahl | Written by John Kåre Raake | Directed by Mikkel Brænne Sandemose

RAGNAROK-screen

When archaeologist Sigurd Svendsen finds the true meaning of the secret runes found in a discovered Oseberg Viking ship modern and ancient worlds collide as he sets off to find the answers he has sought for so long. Little does he know, what he will discover will put himself and his family in harm’s way and it won’t take long for him to realise that some secrets should stay hidden…

Vikings! Giant Monster Snakes! Archaeologists who are pretty terrible at their jobs! If one or more of these phrases interested you, then perhaps you should look into watching Ragnarok: The Viking Apocalypse, the latest action adventure film from Norway. One plus point of this film is that it is pretty. I mean, not only does it significantly benefit from the beautiful landscape of Norway, but also it doesn’t seem to have the tacky B-movie feel of your standard monster fest. Even the giant snake thing…. Snakeodile?…. has a scary, realistic (well… as realistic as a Crocosnake can be) and threatening quality to it. Some of the scenes towards the end of the film are down right chilling, this film opting for a more ‘where is it?’ approach to monster mashing than a full on gore fest.

One thing I wanted from this film, despite the joys of Snakagators, was more Vikings. Ragnarok starts with promises of an epic Viking battle, a full on army of warriors shouting challenges at an unknown snake-based foe. Sadly though, they get reduced to a few flashbacks and the battle is more off screen and ‘suggested’ as they fight the giant snake-o-sauruses. No, this film focuses more of Sigurd and his two children, Ragnhild and Brage (which are awesome names) as they plod around a scary Norwegian island in search of the big secrets (aka treasure) that the Vikings left behind.

If I was to name this film, I would have called it Ragnarok: When Parenting goes Wrong. Seriously, Sigurd has got to be one of the most irresponsible parents that I have ever seen. Going on a potentially dangerous adventure with little to no preparation? Leave your children behind! Go with professionals! Have training on how to use the equipment! Seriously Sigurd. In fact if it wasn’t for that guy being such a plank, I am sure the film would have been a lot less exciting as they would have got into a lot less trouble. Unfortunately, this does make the film seem less believable than it could have been. I mean, if you’re an archaeologist who has dedicated their life to a subject, you would think you would have some sort of field experience right? Giant monster snake aside of course (that wasn’t a euphemism guys. Not that kind of film).

I would say that Ragnarok is a film to watch for a laugh. It isn’t going to change lives, it isn’t going to alter your perspective on the world, but it is a fun little film about a bunch of people being hunted by a giant monster, and sometimes that is all you need.

Ragnarok: The Viking Apocalypse is released on DVD on February 2nd, courtesy of StudioCanal.

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