Erik the Viking Blu-ray Review
If you’ve ever wondered why Tim Robbins has never been a leading comedic man or why he’s been limited to small comedic cameo roles like TENACIOUS D: THE PICK OF DESTINY and ANCHORMAN, then look no further than ERIK THE VIKING as evidence. Despite his best efforts, he doesn’t have the best visual, vocal, or in general, comedic timing or comedic inflections. Of course I can’t blame every failing of ERIK THE VIKING on Robbins, there’s a lot of other things that misfire in this Monty Python wanna-be.
Erik (Robbins) has recently been reflecting on his life as a Viking and he may not be all about the raping and pillaging. Of course he finds this out mid-pillaging and pre-rape. Of course the movie has enough common decency to not have him find this out while tearing off the victim’s clothing. Now this is the make or break joke of the movie. If this is your cup of tea, you’ll laugh and if it isn’t, you’ll turn it off. But ERIK THE VIKING doesn’t handle this with dry wit nor the English charm that’s seen in many Monty Python-esque comedies.
In the hopes of bringing out that British charm, this movie is littered with extras from previous Monty Python creations and a few other cameos in the hopes of eliciting a giggle. Without that charm, there’s more scrutiny on the weak story which appears to poke fun at the idea of war and peace, and how war will always be profitable. But ERIK THE VIKING is definitely one of the last places I’d go to watch an allegory for the alleged war machine.
Since Erik feels out of place, he tries to find his own meaning in life. That’s when he finds out through a local witch (Eartha Kitt), that he is living in the Age of Ragnarok. It’s an era defined by conflict, violence towards others, and general misery. He’s told he can bring an end to this embroiled era by completing a series of tasks which really have no meaning or viable connection. This task involves getting a horn which, when blown three times at certain locations, will bring about the Age of Aquarius.
So Erik goes on a quest that’s reminiscent of most family friend adventures from the 60’s and 70’s. Along the way he comes across a not-so harmonious village of singers, an evil warlord played by John Cleese, and a dull romantic entanglement. Some online sleuthing tells me that the version I watched is the uncut version, which is unfortunate since this movie needs a lot of trimming. A lot of sequences are actually devoid of joke attempts and the jokes attempts that are followed by these sequences feel forced or stolen.
ERIK THE VIKING seems like a jumble of ideas looted from different movies. Everything from actions, plot points, set designs, and humor seem like they’ve been handed down from far better movies. ERIK THE VIKING may suffer from living in the shadow of Monty Python, but it never does anything funny enough or intelligently enough to stand on its own two feet. ERIK THE VIKING may have been a failed experiment in a world that was slowly coming to grips that Monty Python was over and done with.
Video: (1080p Widescreen 1:85:1) While at times the picture does come in clear, there’s also not a lot of digital restoration. During action heavy scenes, the clarity of the picture is a bit spotty.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0) While the video quality is lacking, the audio quality sounds lossless. If there was ever a problem, the audio has definitely been restored to a grand quality.