Jurassic Jones and the Chamber of Secrets
Director Mikkel Brænne Sandemose and writer John Kåre Raake, have put together a mildly effective film, if not quite an original one, where the influences are there for all to see but in a flattering way rather than anything else. Ragnarok is only Sandemose's second film but this is the first time I've seen anything by the director, and after seeing this entry level monster flick, I'd feel confidant about watching another feature from the filmmaker.
Recently, most of the films I've watched in this category, the creature feature, have been low-budget, cheesy affairs, usually from The Asylum, or that ilk, but, Ragnarok is better made than those efforts in many respects, although, the cheesy, cheap-and-cheerful, low-budget film has a different target audience to this family film, and they are usually fun to watch where this is serious.
Sigurd Svendsen is an archeologist and family man who's still coping with the loss of his wife, and after losing his job at the museum he worked at, thanks of his fixation over a Viking myth about the end of the world and runes that spell out "Ragnarok," he takes his young son Brage (Julian Podolski) and teenage daughter Ragnhild (Maria Annette Tanderød) to Finnmark. The kids had been asking to go on vacation, somewhere nice like the Mediterranean, but now they have to tag along with their father after Allan (Nicolai Cleve Broch), another archaeologist, tells Sigurd that he's found more clues. Elisabeth (Sofia Helen) and Leif (Bjørn Sundquist), an old guide, make up the rest of the small expedition.
After an initial search of the area they think holds the answers to the mystery, they find a cave which holds several clues but also turns out to be the resting place of a giant snake-like creature. The group quickly find themselves being hunted by the monster with seemingly no way to escape.
Ragnarok is clearly aimed at a slightly younger audience with its PG rating but the film never suffered because it lacked in blood and guts. The creature was actually rendered quite well and never looked or felt obviously fake, unlike most of the films from the aforementioned The Asylum. What Ragnarok did lack was character depth and could also have had a stronger finish but the excitement level leading up to the end was decent but all the while the influences were ever present, giving a feeling of deja vu.
Teenagers will enjoy this far more than adults because of the lack of blood, and for those of you who are familiar with the work of Spielberg, there might just be too much that's familiar for you to fully engage without trying to remember which film this scene or that scene is from.
Review by Ed Blackadder, Lead Entertainment WriterShare: