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Valhalla Rising [DVD]

158 customer reviews

Price: £3.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Mads Mikkelsen, Maarten Stevenson, Alexander Morton, Gary Lewis, Jamie Sives
  • Directors: Nicolas Winding Refn
  • Format: PAL, Dolby, Digital Sound, Anamorphic, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Momentum Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 17 May 2010
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00355CGV8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,072 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Director Nicolas Winding Refn ('Pusher', 'Bronson') helms this Viking adventure. Mads Mikkelsen stars as One-Eye, a mute warrior with supernatural strength who has been held prisoner for years by the chieftain Barde (Alexander Morton). Along with a boy, Are (Maarten Stevenson), he manages to kill his captor and escape on a Viking longship. The vessel becomes engulfed by an impenetrable fog that eventually disperses to reveal the shores of a strange and unknown land. As the new land reveals its terrible secrets, One-Eye is brought face to face with his true self.

Customer Reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 100 REVIEWER on 11 Jun. 2011
Format: DVD
As others have commented this has been mis-sold by the promoters. It has Viking hordes on the front cover, but not in the US version, as they are not allowed to get away with such blatant false hoods.

It is an unusual film a sort of Ingmar Bergman meets Derek Jarman only with a better camera. It is supposed to be a fantasy and as such it is hard to work out what the actual plot is. Starring Mads Mikkelsen as a one eyed sort of prize fighter, he is treated like an animal; only being let out of his cage for fights to the death. He apparently is owned by Barde(I got that from the cover), who is a wealthy Scotsman who obtained him for his fighting skills. If he is such a lethal fighting machine, how was he ever caught?

Any way he escapes; killing everyone except a young lad who comes along and appears to be able to understand the mute `One Eye'. I thought it was going to be a Christian versus Pagan type thing as Christianity is a thread throughout the film. The old sort of Christianity mind, crusading and killing; not the modern sort of caring and turning the other cheek etc. They meet up with some would be crusaders and then go off on a strange voyage to either the Holy Land or to establish a New Jerusalem.

This is a slow, often claustrophobic, stylish and atmospheric film. Writer and director Nicholas Winding Refn clearly knew what he wanted to create; the studio I think had different ideas. He uses music and imagery to drive the narrative forward and whilst it works, the swift and violent changes in pace -there are snippets of violent flash backs and/or premonitions- actually break your concentration. It is like being hooked and somehow getting off the line.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BS on parade on 18 Nov. 2013
Format: Blu-ray
An unusual movie that is clearly aiming for the oddball, midnight cult movie genre as exemplified by El Topo, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Eraserhead and more recently A Field In England. The problem is that it has the weird atmosphere but not enough strange stuff going on in it.

It's a curiously empty movie with a lot of Scottish highlands landscape shots instead of actual content. There are only so many images of people wandering around these landscapes you can watch before it becomes boring and trite. A lot of musical noise accumulates on the soundtrack to signify something momentous is going to take place. Then nothing happens and the soundtrack quietens down again. They used this technique many times. Very little happens in the film. The hollow script is more suited to a short movie as it feels more than a little stretched at feature length.

The reputation it had seemed to suggest that it was a relentlessly tense movie full of sickening violence, and that half the running time would be fighting - of an artier variety rather than Hollywood action. The opening has a bit of violence, and then it drops off and the slack pacing means there is no tension. There are brief bits of sudden violence throughout the movie, but it doesn't last and is not that gory or bone crunching. I did not feel the movie was filled with tension that never lets up.

The boat section was boring but it wasn't until they reached land that I realised just how slow the movie was. It really started to plod as they walked around finding nothing. So it took me about fifty minutes to work out that it was a slow movie. Until then it didn't particularly strike me that it was limping along.

The director is the star.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. Cosens TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 11 July 2013
Format: Blu-ray
A rather beguiling film in that it looks interesting and has an interesting premise but ultimately is hollow and feels rather indulgent on the directors part.

It looks good but unfortunately that is all it really has going for it. There are long periods of quiet where nothing happens at all. In most cases you would expect this to be a time of reflection or some sort of character building. With Valhalla Rising it is just pure dullness.

Winding Refn's CV has such a spotted success rate it is hard to tell if he is actually a modern genius or just a talent which needs to learn some restraint. The story is weak and plodding and none of this is helped by having a lead character who is mute. Not a word is uttered from "one eye's" mouth. He barely registers as being there at all. It is a waste of Mads Mikkleson, who normally is able to convey a brooding menace in these sort of roles. Here he just looks as bored as the audience.

Not a single character has any real depth. No one makes any impact. The story is confused at best and when it looks like something is going to happen, it doesn't.

Even the ending promises more than it actually delivers, which pretty much sums up the film. A disappointment from a director who periodically shows real flair.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Jun. 2014
Format: DVD
Nicolas Winding Refn directs and Mads Mikkelsen stars in this ponderous exercise in arty veneers. Refn boldly strips back the dialogue and plot to reveal a picture big on ideas but poor in execution. As the story plods along, stopping only briefly for some guttural violence now and then, it becomes evident that the makers have made a painfully boring movie. At first the drained out colour photography looks like a masterstroke of ethereal atmospherics, but this also wears off and only compounds the overall feeling of monotony that pervades the pic.

Hugely disappointing venture from a director capable of so much more. 3/10
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