wateroclock’s review published on Letterboxd:
A shallow, boring revenge story. It is about a fighter, but there is no feeling of danger. The encounter establishing him as such begins with a silly tactical move and shows off plot armor. The scene itself is shot professionally and without passion, and that is the whole movie. It looks good, effort was put into sets, and nothing is inspired, very original, creative.
As much as Ridley Scott's The Last Duel builds up passions by playing with characters, leading to a thrilling ending, The Northman goes through the motions. It seems that the writers confused adding quirkiness with fleshing out and gave most characters very bare personalities presented through unhuman mimicry. They're comic book caricatures with pretense of seriousness, a jarring combination that doesn't work.
Iceland is beautiful, mythological elements are a bit fun, violence is entertaining, and that's wasted.