Rag­narok: The Vik­ing Apoca­lypse

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Snake Sur­prise

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

2013 | 12 | DVD Direc­tor: Mikkel Braenne San­de­mose Cast: Pål Sverre Ha­gen, Ni­co­lai Cleve Broch, Bjørn Sundquist

Ig­nore the

ti­tle, which has clearly strayed from the cover of some Scan­di­na­vian death metal al­bum. There’s noth­ing es­pe­cially apoc­a­lyp­tic about this Nor­we­gian hor­ror – and a dis­tinct short­fall of Vik­ings, come to that ( bad news if you have a taste for plaits, pil­lage and dragon ships).

The pro­logue throws some to­ken Odin- both­er­ing Norse­men our way, but the ac­tion quickly moves to the mod­ern day. Our hero is an ar­chae­ol­o­gist, study­ing cryptic runes un­earthed in a burial mound – “the big­gest and most spec­tac­u­lar Vik­ing find in world his­tory,” we’re told. Played with every­man charm by Pål Sverre Ha­gen, he’s more muesli- fed aca­demic than two- fisted In­di­ana Jones clone, strug­gling with sin­gle par­ent­hood and given to quot­ing the Cul­tural Her­itage Act.

As its plot fol­lows a se­cret map to re­mote Fin­n­mark, Rag­narok of­fers stan­dard is­sue trea­sure hunt stuff be­fore fi­nally un­mask­ing it­self as an old- fash­ioned mon­ster flick. The lamb- gob­bling beastie in the lake proves to be the great Midgard ser­pent of Norse mythol­ogy, updating its schtick to em­brace Jaws- style un­der­wa­ter POV shots. It’s a de­cent ef­fects cre­ation, just the right side of Syfy cheese.

The Nor­we­gian land­scapes are stunning, but Rag­narok ul­ti­mately un­der­whelms, its thrills neutered and fam­ily- friendly, un­done by an end­ing that proves a scaly, slith­er­ing anti- cli­max.

A trailer. Nick Setch­field In Norse mythol­ogy the ser­pent is the arch foe of Thor. Odds are we’ll see it on- screen in 2017’ s Thor: Rag­narok.

Hey, nice lightsaber.

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