Director: Gabriel Axel
Writers: Gabriel Axel, Erik Kjersgaard
Composer: Per Norgaard
Starring: Gabriel Byrne, Helen Mirren, Christian Bale, Brian Cox, Steven Waddington, Kate Beckinsale, Tony Haygarth, Freddie Jones, Tom Wilkinson, Saskia Wickham, Mark Williams, Andy Serkis
More info: IMDb
Tagline: His Quest for Vengeance... May Cost Him Everything.
Plot: This re-telling of Hamlet goes back to the original Danish source material. The opening scenario remains the same: Hamlet's father murdered by his brother who then weds the widowed mother. Hamlet must discover his strength and leadership that will allow him to regain his rightful throne. Don't expect an ending which matches the Bard's though, this is more like a true Viking epic.
My rating: 5.5/10
I'm going to get the good out of the way quickly. The story, albeit simple, has a lot of potential cinematically. The little bit of nudity is fantastic, including Helen Mirren's beauties. Most everything else is about so-bad-it's-good. But damn, look at the cast!!! It's extraordinary how so many quality actors can be trapped in such a low-rent epic. Shit. It's not like the acting is all that bad but it's made worse by their meager surroundings. Norgaard's score is actually pretty good. There were moments that echoed Alex North's dissonant score from DRAGONSLAYER (1981) which took me by surprise considering how low budget this picture is. The foley for anything approaching a crowd scene is very weak. The lack of numbers in the cast suggest that Denmark has no more people than a few villages and small ones at that. Remember that scene in MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (1975) "...and there was much rejoicing...yeahhhh" and how weak and frail the voices were that said, "yeah"? That's how bad it is in this film only it's not played for laughs. I don't hate this film despite what I've said, it's more of a pity than anything else.