DIY Cannes 2013: Valhalla Rising


To stave off the depression of not being at Cannes while everyone I follow on Twitter gabs about their new favorite discoveries, I’ve decided to take the opportunity and hold my own film festival. Every night, I’m going to watch a movie I haven’t seen by one of the director’s debuting on the Croisette. Thanks to the power of Netflix, so many foreign movies and older auteur classics are available for Instant Streaming. Who knows what discoveries I might find along the way?

And yes, I know it’s over, but 2 week long trips in the middle of this project set me back very far. I’m going to finish it up anyway BECAUSE I CARE. Or I’m still unemployed.

Movie #12: Valhalla Rising

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn

His Cannes 2013 Movie: Only God Forgives

Put on your galoshes because it’s about to get messy. And fuck elegant intros. Valhalla Rising doesn’t deserve a personal intro. This is easily one of the worst pieces of garbage I’ve ever seen. It’s loaded with so much overblown pomposity and religious hoo-hah, that I’m sure Refn thinks he constructed a masterpiece. Instead, a film that is bloated at 93 minutes just hopes that you like images of Mads Mikkelsen in mist while titling chapters “The Holy Land.”

The plot is nearly irrelevant. Mads Mikkelsen plays a mute demon nicknamed One Eye by his moppet child friend. They travel together while forcing everyone around them to die, through either ceremonial mud wrestling or archery. This happens slowly and with so much pomp and circumstance that there is virtually nothing else in the movie. Except for the 20 minutes where they all sit on a boat and bitch about how long they’ve been sitting on a boat.

I have no kind words to say about this movie or anyone involved with it. Well, Mads Mikkelsen is perfectly adequate in this movie. There! A COMPLIMENT!

The use of imagery is also so heavy-handed I felt like he made it for an audience of octogenarians with cataracts to see. There will be violent flashes of red images to symbolize evil and hell. Beyond the fact that it’s cliché and dumb, it also happens approximately 50 times in the movie. To encapsulate some of the worst 93 minutes of my life, I made this pie chart on Excel to show exactly what this movie is to me. Enjoy.

Valhalla Rising Pie Chart


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