Valhalla Rising (tiff | imdb) was our third film, and first of the year back at our old familiar haunt: the Ryerson theatre. This film didn’t make the first draft of our schedule, but after hearing some early buzz and watching the trailer again, we swapped it in. I mean, c’mon…the awesome Mads Mikkelsen playing a savage mute warrior named One Eye who goes off to fight in the crusades, and allegories of religious warfare ensue? Oh, I was there. I was there yesterday.
Unfortunately it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. Or it did at first, but then lost them. It started off with a…well, not a bang so much as the thud of rock hitting a skull. Incredibly violent at the beginning and for various bursts throughout, but the bulk of the film plodded along to the point of tedium, beautifully shot though the tedium may have been.
It’s weird…I liked it, but I would have liked it so much more if they could have found some pace.
[UPDATE] The more I think about this film the more I like it. The images from the ‘plodding scenes’ keep racing through my head, even as I watched another movie, and since that was the only weakness I could think of, I’m upping my grade.