It’s the year 871, and across misty mountaintops, bloody battles are being waged between Vikings and Saxons. A young prince named Steinar (Charlie Bewley) is sent by his wounded father to seek out his estranged older brother, their only hope to lead a victorious battle against the Saxons. Steinar sets off with a small, ragged band of warriors with names like Grim and Hagen. Soon enough, heads roll. Lots of ’em. This is a grim and grisly flick, and a rip-roaring addition to the ailing swords-and-sandals genre. It’s
so much fun, in fact, that you won’t even care when a spot of dubstep creeps into the soundtrack during a well-choreographed skirmish. While the film veers into predictable Apocalypse Now territory toward the end, there’s enough originality and brutality here to slake any barbarian’s thirst. Also, “Kiss my fucking ax” is the best line of the year.