I write books about movies.
In a way John Savage’s haunted policeman, stripped of masculinity, mirrors his role as Stevie in The Deer Hunter. Only he wasn’t asked to carry the drama in Cimino’s film. Here he’s the lead protagonist and he’s just okay, though there are flashes.
Probably because he’s opposite a young wiry James Woods, who is dynamite as usual, just an epic scumbag maniac. He acts circles around Savage. Early Ted Danson is fascinating.
Harold Becker is sturdy, even when his movies aren’t as good as this one.
“I’m not fanatical enough to… persevere in this absurdity.”
What’s noble in the face of futility? In the face of being left behind in the world. The absurdity is in everything, but nothing more than the soldiers’ uniforms throughout the years. Violent and sexy and urgent, young Ridley flexing from the starting line.
Dev Patel is terrific in the lead role. He fits so well in this eerie, off kilter, melodramatic medieval universe. He has a poetic face for such poetic films. Above all, the movie is gorgeous, but there is a certain strain to stretch it out past two hours for the sake of austerity.
It is undeniably fun seeing a classic medieval story like this. We need more of them, and we need more Viking stories while we’re at it. It’s…