In Review

Film review: Wild Men

Likeable Danish comedy about a midlife crisis

There are some “very funny scenes” in this deadpan Danish comedy about the “world’s worst Viking”, said Cath Clarke in The Guardian. Rasmus Bjerg plays Martin, a middle-class dad having a midlife crisis. He has tried half-marathons and cycling, “but still feels dead inside” – so he tells his wife (The Killing’s Sofie Gråbøl) that he’s going to a team-building seminar, and instead sneaks off to the forests of Norway to “play out his Viking fantasies”. Swaddled in a “ridiculous animal-pelt costume”, Martin survives in the wild “for about a week” before robbing food from a petrol station, and befriending an injured drug smuggler (Zaki Youssef), who assumes he is a hard-core renegade. Bjerg is “pitch perfect” as the gormless bumbler who wants to go full Fred Flintstone but “can’t bear to part with his iPhone”. It’s just a shame that Gråbøl (“wearing a rubbish jumper” this time) is given nothing really to do, in the role of Martin’s long-suffering, “wait-behind wife”. 

For those who love Vikings, but found “the muscles, machismo and sheer, er, Viking-ness” of last month’s The Northman a bit much, this film should be just the ticket, said Matthew Bond in The Mail on Sunday. Although the plot becomes positively “Tarantino-esque”, it’s a likeable film, “funny and gently moving”. I’m afraid it left me cold, said Alistair Harkness in The Scotsman. The film “veers from slapstick buddy movie to grisly violence to sentimental midlife crisis movie”. Director Thomas Daneskov piles on “incident after incident” while neglecting characters development. In the end it feels merely “derivative”.

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