Erik the Viking (Review)

ErikI’ve said it before but I just don’t get Monty Python. At all. To me it comes across as a bunch of guys being silly without much creativity or inventiveness. The problem for me might be that so many people have done it since, and even if Monty Python were first, I saw the other guys before their material.

Think of it like the fourth or fifth iPad. Sure they are still technical marvels and miracles of a modern age, but they’re not much different from iPad 1, which obviously came first and set a standard. The latest stuff is just a bit better, but not markedly.

That sets this film on the back foot before it even starts. More frustrating is the fact that Erik the Viking seems to lay down a foundation ripe for comedic construction. I mean Erik (Tim Robbins) is a young Viking with love in his heart, aghast with the abhorrent behaviour that his society demands. Erik decides to helm a voyage to the realm of the gods to end this era of darkness and depravity.

The rest should write itself. The other Vikings. The various colourful characters that they will no doubt encounter. The bad guys who would wish failure upon them. And they all exist, they’re just half arsed and hastily drawn.

I yawned as the ‘berzerker’ father explained the intricacies of the family tradition to his son. I rolled my eyes when the leader of the peaceful island attempted to welcome the newcomers with an awful song. I wanted to switch the TV off when the same guy was unable to see Tim Robbins as he hid under a small cloth in plain view.

If this is funny then point me towards not-funny please.

In fact in the first twenty minutes I wondered if this was the comedy that the blurb promised, or a clumsy drama full of silly messages. It doesn’t get much better from there.

Tom Robbins does his level best to keep things afloat, he gets most of the best lines, but also some of the worst. Elsewhere the Monty Python gang take turns to underwhelm, with only John Cleese as the jaded master of death making an impression.

With the best bits only mildly amusing, and the other bits consuming too much of the running time, I eventually remembered my first impression of this film some quarter century prior, namely this is one of the pioneers of the ‘trailer has all the best bits’ films.

Final Rating – 6 / 10. Erik might have been a Viking, but it isn’t much of a comedy.

About OGR

While I try to throw a joke or two into proceedings when I can all of the opinions presented in my reviews are genuine. I don't expect that all will agree with my thoughts at all times nor would it be any fun if you did, so don't be shy in telling me where you think I went wrong... and hopefully if you think I got it right for once. Don't be shy, half the fun is in the conversation after the movie.
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