Tried to be Zack Snyder's 300, but failed miserably.
Director Yusry Abd Halim must have purchased a few handy 'How To' books before taking on his latest endeavour, Vikingdom. Titles such as, "An Idiots Guide To Zack Snyder," "A Fools Guide To Peter Jackson," and the ever popular, "How To Waste $15 Million on a 'B' Movie," which included a special pullout section for using bad wigs. He obviously skimmed them too quickly. Or not. I was reminded of the fan films made by Lord of the Rings' groupies, and they don't have a budget. Vikingdom, is estimated at costing over $15 million, and you can see where the money has gone. 3D conversion. Sadly, you can even more see where it hasn't been spent.
The editing for one. Vikingdom has no flow whatsoever, as we race from one scene to the next, without a single bit of subtlety. Our reluctant hero, Eirick (Dominic Purcell, Breakout), goes from one quiet scene, to suddenly being knee-deep in whatever he's doing with no in-between. I'm not sure why the shots were like that, but, maybe a lot had to be cut for whatever reason. However, if that were the case, you'd think we'd notice something missing. I didn't. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this is a bad film. I'm just not saying it's a good one. There's enough cheese in this movie to keep the Swiss happy for a decade, and more camp than you could shake a glittery-pink stick at.
I did admired some of the attempts at the Snyder-like style as I'm a massive fan of Zack's work, and while some of Halim's tries looked great, he simply didn't have what it takes to follow through. He failed to get anything resembling decent performances from the actors, and some of them needed guidance. Perhaps the wigs didn't help inspire the thespians bring their 'A' game, and not simply dial it in.
I've seen a lot of Purcell's movies, including everything he's done in 2012-13, and he is good when cast properly. I don't think Vikingdom will go down as his best. Craig Fairbrass' (Deranged) Sven was another that didn't gel either. The lovely Natassia Malthe as Bryanne was about the best of them, in my humble, red-blooded male, opinion, and the dialogue for Jon Foo's Yang was highly questionable. They had him speaking English when it suited, but the rest of the time it was "Yang, go?" "Yang, stay?" Seriously?
Some of the settings were breathtaking at times, but, this was let down by the actual sets, where everything looked just too clean and new. The music was one of the worst offenders, as it blasted out continually in a poor attempt at enhancing the mood or action. This film is watchable, but only just.
Review by Ed Blackadder, Lead Entertainment WriterShare: