If you like macho-action with a historical slant you’ll love Hammer of the Gods, directed by Farren Blackburn. Okay, love might be an exaggeration- unless you really are just looking for a bit of savagery on your next cinema trip.

Furthermore, if you’re a fan of 300, King Arthur, Centurion or any other film that has time specific references then you’ll either be pleasantly surprised- or maybe even horrified because Hammer of the Gods has used all films from the historical genre as a blueprint to churn out another bloody period drama to add to the genre’s repertoire.

Set in Viking Britain in 871 AD, Hammer of the Gods is an intense tale set in a world where it seems as though violence is the only answer. A young Viking warrior, Steinar (Charlie Bewley), is sent by his father, the king, on a quest to find his estranged brother, who was banished from the kingdom many years before. Steinar’s epic journey across terrifyingly hostile territory gradually sees him emerge as the man his father wants him to be – the ruthless and unforgiving successor to his throne. Steinar becomes a war warrior throughout his arduous journey which peaks in a climatic rumble with his estranged brother.

Unfortunately this plot is just a flimsy outline for graphic and overzealous fight scenes that at times, I will admit, are pretty awesome. But the sentiment of the story doesn’t quite match the amount of blood-shed and indeed blood-lust that the predominantly male cast seem to display.

These video-game Viking-styled slayers can’t save the film overall and too many battle scenes can spoil the broth. With a constant bloody assault on the senses audiences are bound to be exhausted and desensitised by the gory displays of often mindless brutality.

A highlight is Charlie Bewley’s performance as lead protagonist Steinar. He adds great physicality to the role and works well with the limited dialogue.

Overall Hammer of the Gods is watchable, and will be for some, enjoyable, providing cinema-goers aren’t looking for much more than epic brawls.

I’m not really sure how any of the characters are relatable- there is no one to root for- no one to particularly like which is perhaps where the film’s plot is lacking. Not to mention the complete lack of female characters give or take one or two that are held captive or shown for a bit of token period-drama style nudity.

A little bit of a copy-cat of other well implemented historical dramas, a little bit of a pointless plot and a lot of blood-splattered misogyny.


About The Author

Emily is from South London and has a degree in English Literature. Emily is a marketing assistant who writes about films and music in her spare time. Horror and grindhouse are her thing - although she will happily watch anything if it means a trip to the cinema.