Chris Crow‘s A Viking’s Saga: the Darkest Day is a very ineffective and banal attempt at making a film about Vikings. A film about Vikings usually conjures up imagery of exciting sword fights and terrific speeches given by kings and warriors. A Viking’s Saga, aside from a few brief violent scenes, gives the viewer nothing more than people taking slow-paced strolls across a beautiful countryside and speaking of the importance of the Lindisfarne Gospels, contrary to the DVD’s cover depicting a hulking Viking figure wielding an axe. However, credit must be given where it is due–the film derives its plot from historical events and the existence of the gospels themselves. Other than that, nothing to see here.
Hereward (Mark Pickering), a young monk, sent on a quest with his elder mentor to deliver the Holy Gospel of Lindisfarne to a monastery in Iona. The rest of the island around him cast into deep shadow–there is famine everywhere. Of course, being Vikings–the people get no mercy. Hadrada (Joshua Richards), King of Ekero, set on retrieving the Gospel for himself in order to wield its beauty and power for control of the island. Protected by the swordsman Athelwulf (Mark Lewis Jones), the three journey to prevent the fall of their island into Viking hands.
The film opens with quotes from various scholars and record keepers around the time of the Viking raids in 793, making the film look promising, but the real star turns out to be the picture perfect landscape surrounding the cast members. Scenes boorishly linger during the film because of the long winding dialogue, and the consistent walking the characters seen doing for much of the film. There are two characters in particular that stand out: Athelwulf himself is an impressive fellow in this dud, due to his warrior-like appearance and serious tone and demeanor, and Eara (Elen Rhys), a young pagan woman who has knowledge of the local plant life comes in handy.
The combat scenes were unimpressive. The camera shots blurred with wide angle sweeps, attempting to make the action more exciting than it is. Want to give audiences Vikings? Give it to us insatiably raw, gritty and violent.
Otherwise, what’s the point?
Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.
Special features for A Viking’s Saga include:
• Behind the Scenes with Cast/Crew Interviews
• Trailer Gallery
• Widescreen Presentation
• English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio
• Optional English and Spanish Subtitles
The behind the scenes footage takes viewers into the character backgrounds. The production crew discuss the films time period–the effort that has to go into making the film visually appeasing and engaging for audiences including the fight choreography. A Viking’s Saga was shot on location in Wales.
Art and supplementary materials courtesy ©2013 of Lionsgate Home Entertainment. All rights reserved.