Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Film Review: Ragnarok (2013)

Ragnarok (Review)
Norway/2013
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...aside from its clichés and contrived moments, Ragnarok is surprisingly entertaining."

Sigurd (Pål Sverre Valheim Hagen), an archeologist, takes his family on vacation to Finnmark to find evidence of the Viking extinction known as the Ragnarok...

Ragnarok follows Sigurd and his two children, a fellow archeologist, said archeologist's assistant, and their guide as they travel to Finnmark to find the evidence. So, they find a cave system and a Viking helmet, which supports their theory. Unfortunately, the group become trap in the area and eventually find themselves facing off against a vicious creature. Not much depth or character to the story, but enough to keep you seated until the end. The ending itself is predictable.

In fact, Ragnarok offers very little to the genre. If you've seen any creature features or even Jurassic Park, you've likely seen this film before. However, aside from its clichés and contrived moments, Ragnarok is surprisingly entertaining. I knew exactly where it was headed, but I genuinely enjoyed the journey. It has a great sense of adventure. Some decent suspense here and there, as well as some edge-of-your-seat moments. I should note, however, most of the very adventurous moments don't occur until the second half of the film. The first half is still interesting, but not nearly as exciting.

The acting was good. Although generic, Pål Sverre Valheim Hagen is a solid leading man. The child cast is good, too. The film is shot well. The cinematography is good, but it doesn't really thrive to be more than that, which is disappointing considering the lush environment. The music was great, though, it really helped set the adventurous mood. The special effects were good, especially when we see the creature from afar -- that's when it really shines. Director Mikkel Brænne Sandemose does very well in crafting this exciting adventure. However, the story suffers from it's clichés and contrivances enough to make this film feel like just another so-and-so film -- it never has an opportunity to differentiate itself in the genre.

Overall, Ragnarok is a good film. It's a very familiar story -- almost too familiar -- but it is also exciting and adventurous. Despite the many clichés and contrivances I found, I still had a satisfying and entertaining experience. If you're looking to kill an hour and a half and you don't mind subtitles, this is an adventure worth taking.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood.

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