The Northman

Honest Movie Reviews: ‘The Northman’ Is Just ‘The Lion King’ With Vikings

In the latest edition of Honest Movie Reviews, we’re pulling together the funniest audience movie reviews on the internet. From funny to ironic, truthful to the downright silly, we’re diving into the deep, dark rabbit hole of online movie fandom. Today, we turn our attention to The Northman.

The Northman is truly unlike any Viking film that has ever come before. With the exception of 2009’s Valhalla Rising, The Northman might just be the most accurate depiction of Viking culture ever put on film. Directed by the excellent young filmmaker Robert Eggers, The Northman is based on an old Norse folktale called Vita Amlethi, or “The Legend of Amleth.” 

Passed down through the ages through word of mouth, the folktale was recorded in the 1200s as written by Saxo Grammaticus’ extensive history of early Danish rulers. Interestingly enough, the legend of Amleth has served as the inspiration for several famous stories, most notably William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

As a result, the story of The Northman may sound familiar. The plot follows Amleth, a Viking prince who sets out on a quest to avenge the murderer of his father. It just so happens that his father’s murderer is also his power-hungry uncle Fjolnir, who captures and marries Amleth’s mother, leading to a decades-long exile. After growing up to become a berserker Viking, he is inspired by a seeress (played by none other than Björk) to fulfill his promise to avenge his father, save his mother, and kill Fjolnir.

Wait — is The Northman just a remake of The Lion King, but with Vikings? Considering that The Lion King also took direct inspiration from Hamlet, this sentiment might be more accurate than many might give it credit for.

Despite embracing a familiar story formula that won over critics, the movie was considered a box office bomb, grossing $67.4 million on a budget of $90 million. Interestingly enough, The Northman has become a bigger hit on VOD than it was in theaters. But now that the film is streaming on Peacock, users on the platform naturally have something to say about the movie. Without further ado, here are the best honest reviews for The Northman.

Cover Photo: Focus Features/Universal