Vikingdom review by Alyse Garner - Cinema Paradiso
The first entirely Malaysian produced movie to get a world wide theatrical release Vikingdom is quite the mish-mash of cultures and themes; as it’s title suggests the story exists in the long lost land of Eastern Europe where Viking kings ruled in furs and with long swords and funny boats, throw in a mixture of American, Australian, Asian and European actors and top it off with a Malaysian script and director and rather than an intercultural delicacy you’re left with little more than a mess.
The story is rather irrelevant here but I’ll give you a brief outline: Excommunicated Viking king Elrick (Prison Break’s Dominic Purcell) is happily whiling away his time living in a forest until he is called upon to defeat the vengeful god Thor (unfortunately not played by Chris Hemsworth). Dragging his wooden faced and rock hard body out of the greenery Elrick manages to round up an unlikely group of no-hopers and convince a scantily glad ships captain to help him go in search of a magical horn, the only thing that can defeat Thor.
But what largely takes place on screen is a great deal of monotonous acting, very poorly written (almost painfully so) dialogue and the weirdest lighting and cinematography choices I have ever seen in an action movie.
I am well informed by those who have had the displeasure of watching a great deal of Malaysian films that, though I hesitate to generalize, such faux pas are the norm for this particular branch of Asian cinema. Scenes in which the lighting is so over used and the characters so over-exposed that you feel as though you’re watching one of those videos of your ballet recitals your dad caught on his camcorder in the late 80’s jarr against surprisingly well constructed CGI. This is about the only positive that I can offer about this unbearably tedious movie; thanks to the advanced technology now available for CGI and colour grading you’d never know that the Norway on screen is really a well disguised Malaysia.