09th May2015

‘Northmen’ DVD Review

by Richard Axtell

Stars: Ed Skrein, Ryan Kwanten, James Norton, Tom Hopper, Charlie Murphy, Leo Gregory, Ken Duken, Anatole Taubman, Johan Hegg, Danny Keogh, Nic Rasenti, Darrell D’Silva, Joe Vaz, Richard Lothian, Daniel Janks | Written by Bastian Zach, Matthias Bauer | Directed by Claudio Fäh

northmen-dvd

Washed up on an unknown shore after being caught in a storm, a band of Vikings manage to find a hostage and cross into enemy lines with thoughts of gold and safe passage. However, they soon find themselves hunted for their prize and a panicked race begins. The losers will pay with their lives.

Northmen is about a group of Vikings, some who have a Viking-y accent, others (like the main man, Asbjorn) who are surprisingly English. Trapped in Scotland (the horror!), they find themselves a Princess they take hostage (she has a Scottish accent, which is handy). Thus begins an epic journey across Scotland (the horror!) to ransom her off to someone and pay their way to safety. Enter the bad guys, or ‘the wolves’. You know they are bad guys because they talk in gravelly voices (in an interesting selection of accents, I think I heard a bit of French in there?), have a horde of faceless minions who are ready to be murdered (with skulls on their helmets!), and said horde seems to increase and decrease in size depending on the situation and how threatening they want to look. They chase the Northmen around and make their lives a bit more stabby than they would probably like.

As fantasy/action films go, I have definitely seen worse. I found most of the characters very entertaining and fun in a violent, Viking kind of way. Asbjorn is a bit more of a two-dimensional look-at-my-flowing-viking-golden-hair hero type person, but he is definitely made up for by the rest of his crew and the Princess Inghean who has a cool mystical thing going on. The biggest let down was probably the bad guys, who were so obviously bad it was almost painful to watch. Maybe if they toned down the evil just a smidge, I would have felt it was a little more believable and they would have seemed slightly more threatening.

But overall, Northmen delivers what it promises. Vikings being badass. It does it in a bit of a cheesy way, but sometimes you gotta have a little cheese to make things more dramatic, you know? And if this film is anything, it’s dramatic. If you want a fast-paced action film which will keep your Viking lust in check, this is one you should check out.

Northmen is out now on DVD from eOne.

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