Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Gamer movie review: Hammer of the Gods

So I saw a snazzy trailer for this movie some time ago, and thought to myself, 'Eh, why not?' And that's what I got, meh. I've noticed a very minor recurring theme amongst several well-made, direct to video movies. The rehashing older classic movies by putting them in different time periods. Not exactly a new trend in hollywood (Magnificent Seven is a decent flick on it's own, and it's a remake of the fantastic Seven Samurai). I mention all this because it took me about five minutes to figure out that this low-budget, direct to video movie is a viking version of Apocalypse Now

Basically, a viking king is dying after a lop-sided battle against saxons. His two sons (one apparently a fighter and the other a 'dandy') are not judged worthy to be his successor, so they are sent into the dangerous interior of Britain to recall their older, more capable brother from exile (if the reason he was exiled was explained, I sure as heck didn't catch it).

Now I don't exactly expect a lot from a movie of this sort. Cheesy acting, sure. Bad special effects, indeed. Silly plots, expected. But what I cannot stand in a viking movie is half-assed fighting. It should be balls to the walls at all times. I imagine that, from a realistic standpoint, there would be times when you gently tap your sword on the shoulder of your enemy. But to have it one time produce a geyser of blood, and the next it be like a scratching an itch is just sloppy.

It's not a bad movie, it's not a good movie. There's plenty of almost-decent fighting and slightly less than the proper amount of blood. There's an almost decent action sequence with a berserker fighting opponent after opponent that reminded me of the fight in the movie Kingdom of Heaven (the one where the soldiers are fighting the crusaders, and that totally metal german knight fights with the arrow through his throat). Is Hammer of the Gods worth watching? I'm going to say it's not worth watching, but it is watchable. If it happens to be on, check it out. Certainly not worth taking up shelf space with a DVD.

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