Nicolas Winding Refn’s Valhalla Rising
does for Norse mythology what Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey
did for space exploration. For that reason alone it’s bound to be misunderstood, misinterpreted, and reviled by viewers in search of some easily digestible entertainment. Those who don’t mind a bit of a challenge, however, will savor Refn’s deliberate and hallucinatory approach to the tale of a mute, one-eyed warrior’s slow descent into hell. Broken up into six chapters, the film unfolds at a creeping pace. But it’s never boring; with mounting dread, stunning cinematography, sudden blasts of violence, and a mesmerizing score by Peter Kyed and Pet...