Valhalla Rising (2009)

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Nicolas Winding Refn directs Mads Mikkelsen, Ewan Stewart and Gary Lewis in this violent dark ages odyssey. 

Frustratingly slow and oblique, it often feels more like a long winded pisstake than the leather and axe grindhouse saga promised on the DVD box. Despite arty pretentiousness and a mean spiritedly shambolic pace, the mute lead turn by Mads and some promisingly disturbing moments just about allow this to pass muster. Maybe on the big screen, where you might get more lost in the stark imagery, it wouldn’t appear like quite the grubby middle finger to the watcher.

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