Mania Grade: C-
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- Rated: Unrated
- Starring: Dominic Purcell. Conan Stevens, Craig Fairbass, John Foo
- Written By: James Coyne
- Directed By: Yusry Abdul Halim
- Distributor: Epic Pictures
- Extras: See Below
- Original Year of Release: 2014
Vikingdom DVD Review
A Malaysian View of Viking Mythology
By Tim Janson
February 03, 2014
© Mania.com/Robert Trate
Well here’s something you don’t see every day…a Malaysian produced film about Vikings. Vikingdom was made by KRU studios, based in Malaysia. Dominic Purcells as a Viking ruler named Eirick who is killed in battle but brought back to life by the Norse Goddess Freyja. Eirick abdicates his throne to his brother to live out a solitary life as a hunter. However peaceful life is broken when he learns that Thor intends to wage war on the world. Upset that the Norse Gods have been replaced by the Christian God, Thor is seeking several artifacts which he intends to use to restore Norse rule on Earth.
In a Dungeons and Dragons like plot device, Eirick sends out a call to mercenaries and adventurers to join him on his quest to try and find the Horn of Helheim before Thor (Conan Stevens) can find it first. Among Eirick’s band of adventurers is his friend Sven (Fairbass), an Asian slave named Yang (Foo) who they rescued, the beautiful archer Brynna, as well as several other very brawny warriors.
The Dungeons and Dragons description continues to be apt throughout the film as the band of adventurers has to face rival warriors, an under realm of the dead, a bevy of golden skinned beauties who seeks to enchant Eirick to his doom, and a large, guardian half dog, half dragon creature. The group is even joined by a wizard who looks like Gandalf and acts like Radagast. Eventually Eirick, who discovers that he has the blood of Gods in him, has to face off against Thor himself.
It’s clear that Director Yusry Abdul Halim is a huge fan of the film “300” as he tries to emulate its style from beginning to end. Battle scenes are shot in slow motion and certain colors (red and green) are bold against an otherwise grey-toned color palette. The problem, however, is that Vikingdom had less than a quarter of the budget that 300 had. As a result the film is a mixed bag to say the least. The visual effects are wildly uneven. Often times you can see the outline around the actors as they are clearly performing in front of a green screen. The Dragon/Dog creature appears to have been made out of paper mache.
As silly and weak as the effects are the battle scenes are well choreographed and exciting. The actors all fit their wells extremely well. They may not be the best actors but they are all sufficiently burly and can swing a mean sword. Conan Stevens as Thor especially looks impressive. Purcell certainly looks the role of a Viking warrior but his charisma is as drab as the film’s colors.
Had the film gone for more straight action drama without the bad CGI and fantasy elements it would have likely worked much better.
The Making of Vikingdom (25:00) – Features behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with cast and crew, and a look at the training and stunt work.