“Hammer of the Gods” (2013)

hammerofthegods

★★★½☆

The reviews on IMDb don’t do this film justice. The story is kind of a mix of ideas from “Conan”, “King Arthur” (with Clive Owen), “The Thirteenth Warrior”, and other period pieces. Basically you have a kingdom under siege with the king mortally wounded in battle, and a young prince has to set forth to find a wayward heir to rule the realm.

It’s an unknown cast and I think it was filmed in Wales. But the writing and performances are all pretty good. The fight scenes are bloody and violent and not very heroic. Hand-to-hand combat back in the wasn’t pretty.

Unlike most of these kinds of “epic journey” movies, the quest here is for the hero, Steinar, to grow up and become the king himself. And the movie does a good job showing his evolution. He starts out as something of a benevolent type and by the end, he’s all business, doing whatever it takes. There’s even a twisted, kinky plot twist with the long-lost brother he’s sent to find.

This is a solid film. There aren’t many dead spots and everything is pretty believable, with a good story that doesn’t wander off into useless complexities. The only area it falls down on is that the supporting cast isn’t all that engaging. They’re capable, but just not very interesting – you don’t really care much about what happens to them. If you like a good “knight’s quest” flick, check this one out.