(PG18) Denmark/UK Mads Mikkelsen
This is a brutal, mesmerising film from Dane Nicolas Winding Refn (Pusher, Bronson), dominated by Mads Mikkelsen as a mute fighter, whose journey from 12th Century Scotland to a strange New World is an odyssey of self-realisation.
Enslaved by a pagan Scottish clan chieftain, the nameless warrior is chained and forced to fight to the death in hand-to-hand bouts staged for amusement and betting. Escaping with the help of a young boy, who names him One-Eye, the warrior learns to use weapons and joins a band of Vikings, Christian converts bound for Jerusalem.Their ship, however, is enveloped by a mysterious mist, which finally lifts to reveal an unknown land.
Breathtaking digital photography and an atmospheric electronic score sustain the mood, and for those who see this savage journey through to the end, there are riches aplenty.