The last weekend of April was a quiet one by most standards, but it’s the calm before the blockbuster season storm. I saw a couple new films, neither of which was my cup of tea. But you can see my thoughts below! If you’d like to see more of my scores for films and thoughts, feel free to follow me on Letterboxd here.
Starring: Rowan Blanchard, Auli’i Cravalho, and Megan Mullally
Synopsis: Hulu has quietly rolled out a slate of original films in 2022. Many of them have dealt with teens or young adults and relationships. This film is no exception. It’s another romantic comedy, this one centered on a pair of high school girls (Blanchard and Cravalho) who bond over the search for a graffiti artist and being part of the track team. It has some amusing moments and the performances are fine, but there wasn’t a lot of meat in this story. Aside from the gender of the pair at the heart of the romance, this felt similar to stories and beats we’ve seen before. It’s not a bad watch, and it’s just under 90 minutes, but it didn’t feel overly compelling.
The Northman (Theaters)
Starring: Alexander Skarsgard, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicole Kidman, and Ethan Hawke
Synopsis: This violent Nordic epic combines Vikings lore and Shakespeare’s Hamlet as director Robert Eggers returns with another ambitious feature. This one centers on a young Viking prince who sees his father (Hawke) murdered by his uncle (Claes Bang), who takes his mother (Kidman) as his new wife. The boy escapes but vows to return and take revenge. He does return as a man (Skarsgard), a warrior masquerading as a slave. He bonds with another slave (Taylor-Joy) and begins to plot his revenge, fulfilling the oath he swore as a young man. Eggers has a certain style to his films, which can be seen in previous releases The Witch and The Lighthouse. He brings that unique style and perspective to The Northman, a violent epic that feels like his most ambitious film yet. The film has some strong performances and some beautiful shots. In fact, the climatic battle sequence uses a very creative backdrop to enhance the action. The elements of Shakespeare and Norse myth are interesting as well. However, this is a style of filmmaking that either works for you or it doesn’t. For me, it doesn’t. I appreciated the craft but the story and characters didn’t resonate with me and some of the choices were off-putting. I also thought the film ran long—at two hours and 20 minutes it could have been edited down a bit. It’s a unique offering and an ambitious production but one I’m happy to never see again.
Rating: Rated R for strong bloody violence, some sexual content and nudity.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.