For the first ten minutes not a word of dialogue is spoken. We can tell from the costumes and surroundings that we are somewhere in Europe around the time of the Celts or Vikings. Two groups of men are betting on a fight between a man who is chained to a pole and 2 opponents who are not. Its like UFC circa 1142.
The restrained man is blind in one eye and has a body full of scars that show this is not his first time in combat. The fight is visceral and dirty as are all the men watching. This is a group in serious need of a television.
When we finally do hear someone speak we see the one eyed fighter being sold to another group. I get the impression that the first group are better off to be rid of the chained man. He is not normal in his society and is looked upon with a combination of awe and dread. But day after day, he fights and day after day he wins.
One day while bathing in a could mountain stream, the fighter finds a metal arrow head. Could this be his way out?
We also hear of a new belief system (Christianity) that is making itself known to these highland people. Their practitioners drink the blood and eat the flesh of their one god. The response to that by the Vikings is that while the foreign god is one, their gods are many and thus superior.
One day as the one eyed warrior is being taken to another tribe he manages to escape his jailers and finds himself a free man for the first time in his memory. He chooses to join up with a group of converted men on a crusade to Jerusalem.
Also along on the journey is a young boy whose job it once was to care for One Eye and apply his war paint before every match. Once One Eye is free, the boy has no sense of purpose and follows him out of obligation more than anything else.
The setting with it's 'end of the world' stillness is spectacular here. The sense of cold and isolation is a character in it's own right. Everything is gray or foggy. There is no sun or joy or laughter amongst these men. Hell is often brought up in conversations and maybe that is where the story takes place.
However none of that really matters because the movie is not interested in anything other than showing scenes of men starring longingly over large tracts of unspoiled nature.
It could have been a tale about how a men of faith and a man without faith survive in a new world but it doesn't even try to do that. Why have a character like One Eye if you don't have him fight anything - even natives in the new land these Vikings have found.
It seems like such a wasted opportunity. If this is what passes for action/adventure in Northern Europe then they can keep it. It's such a downer. I wanted to shake these Emo Vikings by the collar and tell them to wake up and kill something already.
Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness
I forever stand vigilant to protect this planet from the myriad of forces that are always against us. Be it the octopus, zombies, aliens or the robots my team of human agents, and our feline allies, circle the globe in a never ending struggle for human freedom.
I learn all I can on every subject that interests me. I especially enjoy ancient history because in the past there are valuable lessons to be found. Also, if I ever get my time machine to work properly, it would be good to know a bit about possible destinations and what to expect when I get there.
I greatly appreciate beautiful design. Be it manufactured or found naturally I am fascinated by the process of invention. I am attracted to the unique, the strange, the haunted. I like to share what I find on this blog.
And not let us forget the 'Cephalopod Menace' who, if allowed to, would wrap their tentacles around all that is good and pure in this life and crush it until it remained no more. They are creatures of pure spite. Hate is all they know. Death is all they do. They are our most ruthless and determined enemy.
So we fight. Selena has the celebrity contacts, the cat is ruthless and without pity, Roosevelt's ghost has the experience and I do the wetwork.
Fighting for the future of the planet doesn't have to be a chore, however. We can take the time to appreciate all that is cool in this world even as we cut the octopus into bite sized chunks.
This is the reason there has always been and must forever be, a Cave of Cool. Be sure to wipe your feet before you enter.