Wednesday, September 11, 2013

In short: Hammer of the Gods (2013)

Generally, I'm perfectly willing to overlook, or at least only mildly grumble about, the lack of historical veracity in my historical pulp adventure movies but I do then want that veracity to be replaced by some kind of uniting aesthetic sense. Basically, if you make a movie about Vikings where neither haircuts nor clothing nor religion nor weapons are historically correct, then you need to have some sort of parsable reason for the way you portrait these things on screen instead. Being the kind of easy to please guy I am, I'm even willing to accept "it looks cool" as a reason, but then, it actually has to look (and feel cool).

Which leads us to Farren Blackburn's absolutely horrible Hammer of the Gods, a film very much in the business of attempting to spit on historical fact to look cool but proving himself again and again incapable of looking cool, or really, of anything else it attempts. I'm not willing to go into much detail (life's to short to write a thousand words about this one) but the costumes look like left-overs from various historical pulp adventure movies that were actually any good stitched up to look as boring as possible, the fight choreography is plodding and just not very interesting, the direction (not just) of the fights is indifferently throwing all the directorial tics of this season's crop of films at the screen without any idea how to use them right or which of them not to use at all, the acting is as flat as a pancake, there's no character to any of the characters and the plot meanders and plods from one boring, often stupid, episode without thematic or dramatic connection to the next until the whole thing turns into an idiot's idea of Apocalypse Now in the end.

Add to this some choice homophobic vibes, a lead actor in Charlie Bewley who is the blandest pretty boy ever to grow a scraggly beard portraying a fucking Viking New Atheist (seriously), and not a single vaguely interesting second on screen, and you have Hammer of the Gods, a movie I find absolutely nothing good to say about, except that it ends.

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