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Northman is headed due south


Usually when an epically bad film hits the box office critics ravage it with their pens, but the Northman, because of previous excellent films put out by director Robert Eggers, received high praise, one misguided critic calling it a “truly distinctive, unmissable epic.” It was distinctive, sure enough, but so is the odor of a skunk, and this movie was about as far from “unmissable” as Mars is from Earth.

It doesn’t really matter what the film is about, although it was a tale of ancient Vikings struggling to gain power and glory in a violent, gory world, and it doesn’t really matter how well it was directed, or how beautiful the cinematography was, because the acting and dialogue were so painfully bad it could make you wince. I watched this movie in a room with a half dozen people ranging in age from 12 to 63, and every one of them hated this movie.

The point is, I believed the critics, I trusted Rotten Tomatoes who gave it a rating of 89 percent, which usually denotes sure fire quality entertainment, but in this case, sold out the unsuspecting viewer. No doubt, no matter how bad a film is, there will be ardent fans and critics who swear by it. But this movie is well beyond the justifiable range of those differing perspectives. It is just plain awful, peopled by derivative, gratuitous characters and circumstances that make you wonder how the accomplished actors used in this film stood for this nonsense.

If you are compiling a private library of an atrocious film fare, by all means stick this film in at the very top, but if you actually expect to sit down and spend a couple of hours immersed in an entertaining film, don’t misfire with this clunker.

(Contact James Giago Davies at skindiesel@msn.com)



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