Hammer of the Gods (2013)
With the overwhelming success of the television series’ Game of Thrones and Vikings it is no wonder we have been swarmed with films trying to cash in on their current popularity. So as a big fan of both these programmes it was with both optimism and enthusiasm that I approached this film. From the trailer, Hammer of the Gods promised to be an action packed, blood fuelled romp across the rural countryside of war-torn Britain. This was exactly what it was, unfortunately it failed to be anything more.
The acting seemed fake and without depth, as did the characters. They also all seemed to suffer from one of the most infuriating lack of authenticity, the ‘Hollywood teeth’. These savage Vikings seemed to have extraordinarily straight white teeth. This is something which never fails to bug me, they have the costumes perfect, the weapons are spot on, the locations are stunning, everything sucks you in to believing this is authentic. Until they open their mouths.
The characters weren’t engaging, I didn’t feel anything for them so when the time came for some to die it was with no emotional impact. The story itself also lacked any depth, Steiner (Charlie Bewley) has been sent on a quest to find his older brother and to bring him back so he can be king. The story gets somewhat convoluted along the way with conspiracy theories, religion, assassins and betrayal. It felt like they were trying to cover too much ground and fell short in more than one area.
On top of all that, they tried to introduce modern music to this historical era. Dub Step can be heard throughout the film and during the credits in an obvious attempt to modernise and do something different with this suddenly popular genre. It reminded of another film which does this, The Great Gatsby (2013). In this they manage to bring in both pop and rap music to a film set in the 1920′s and it works brilliantly. Director Farren Blackburn attempted something similar and failed miserably.
The film did however deliver in the action area. The battle scenes were done well, they were energetic without being overly dramatic. There was no talking during the fighting, no bravado, just good old fashioned fighting. This aspect, at least, brought this film up to bearable, but by no means did it make up for the lack of everything else.
Overall this film was a flop, from the hollow acting and characters right through to the tremendously terrible soundtrack. The action was good but was unable to prop up this stale and aimless film. So if you, like me, like your historical war epics, then I would suggest you watch, well, anything instead of this cheap imitation.
Written by Oliver Willis