Plot: What’s it about?
Sigurd (Pal Sverre Hagen) is an archaeologist who is coping with the recent loss of his wife, a tragic event that left his children without a mother. As he tries to deal with the loss, he focuses on his work and what has become a personal obsession for him, Norse relics. He finds himself transfixed on a new find, so much so that he puts his full attention on the remains of a Viking ship that was recently uncovered. While the discovery has the potential to reveal some excellent finds, Sigurd believes the importance is far beyond educational ends. He is convinced the relics found at the site shed light on the Ragnarok, a violent end of the world scenario that Vikings held as truth. But his assertions don’t impress the financial backers of the dig, as Sigurd is soon removed and even loses his post at a museum. But Sigurd isn’t going to give in that easily, so he packs up his two children and sets off to uncover the truth. His kids are battling their own inner conflicts, but Sigurd is convinced the world hangs in the balance. Are the relics simply a nice find for a museum, or has Sigurd truly discovered that Ragnarok is imminent?
I hadn’t heard much about Ragnarok prior to this review, but I am glad I took the time to check it out. This is a terrific movie that combines action, adventure, and minor elements of horror to a great end. The horror elements fall into the old school monster movie vibe too, so this isn’t about gore or murder. Ragnarok wants to be a big budget, splashy motion picture and while it lacks a little polish at times, for the most part it delivers. The special effects are large scale and impressive, even if not quite on the same level as the top tier production houses. The monster on showcase here couldn’t have been an easy one to create however, so kudos to the artists for how good it does come off. The adventure part of Ragnarok feels like a love letter to Spielberg, with grand set pieces and a sweeping pace. The writing is predictable, but gets the action where it needs to be and that is enough here. I found the cast to be terrific, with rock solid performances across the board. This is just a superbly fun popcorn style movie that packs a roller coaster ride of adventure and thrills. If you’re a fan of Spielberg’s adventure tales or the recent stream of great Norwegian fantasy/horror films, Ragnarok is well recommended.
Video: How’s it look?
Ragnarok is presented in 2.35:1 widescreen. This is a very good visual treatment, with a clean image that provides some excellent depth and detail. As I said above, the special effects aren’t ideal and they do suffer a little in high definition, but they’re still well presented. The rest of the movie shines, with spot on contrast that ensures black levels are accurate, while colors are natural and suffer no woes. Not a lot else I can say here, this is a great transfer and fans will be delighted.
Audio: How’s it sound?
This is an adventure movie and as such, the DTS HD 5.1 soundtrack provides a robust experience. There is ample action and tension, all of which is made even more effective by the film’s sound design. I was pleased to hear not just power either, but a skilled and creative mix. The music sweeps through the channels and adds so much, while dialogue is clear and always properly placed within the soundtrack. This disc also includes English and Spanish subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
A brief promotional featurette titled Ragnarok: The Visual Effects is included, as well as the film’s theatrical trailer.