Birkebeinerne – Beautiful Snowy Ax-Wielding Fun


This is a fun action movie (sword and romance) set in really beautiful winter scenery. If you like Game of Thrones, but want more snow with your ax wielding heroes, this is a great film for you.

I saw it in a theater, and the audience was completely in to it; it’s been awhile since I’ve been a theater where audience members shout out encouragement to characters on screen, and it’s so fun to have a movie where the audience cheers at key points.

I can’t remember a film in which infants were used so effectively; you truly have a concern for the characters’ safety.

The casting of our four heroes (Thor, Skeivie, Inga and Haakon) is perfect. Skeivie looks like they decided to cast Clay Matthews of the Green Bay packers as a heroic viking warrior.


I also found the particularly compelling the fight scenes. They obviously didn’t have a budget that would enable them to have a cast of thousands for their battle scenes, and somehow that gives greater believe-ability to the fight scenes.

Our main heroes don’t (implausibly) kill hundreds of faceless stuntmen (as is so often the case in action movies and superhero movies these days). Instead, our heroes are faced with having to take on specific opponents who seem truly intent on our heroes’ demise/destruction.

Slightly implausible is the topography displayed in the movie — truly beautiful, but who knew that 99% of the topography in Norway is downhill? (I know, downhill chase scenes on skis are more compelling than uphill chase scenes on skis).

The only slight weak point I would identify is the sub-story line about the young princess. OK, we know that story line is useful to show our villain is a truly bad guy, but our princess looks like she was recruited from a local mall, and told “here, put on this dress and look scared”; they didn’t give her much to work with, and it shows. But one could say the same about young female characters in some of the Star War movies.

Some may find annoying too that there are little story lines that appear, and then are left unresolved, like what happens to the evil queen after she exits?

Because of this, on occasion, one feels like the producer is setting up plot lines for future sequels. Hopefully that’s true, and a sequel is coming! I’d buy tickets immediately!

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