R | 1h 44min | Action, Adventure | 28 Feb 2020 (Norway) | Movie
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 54% Rotten (Critic reviews) |
Director: André Øvredal
Writer: André Øvredal, André Øvredal, Norman Lesperance
Stars: Nat Wolff, Priyanka Bose, Iben Akerlie
IMDb summary: Fantasy adventure origin story about a young man discovering he has God-like powers based on ancient Norwegian mythology
WE ARE NOT SPOILER FREE
This review was written by Jeremy with edits by Julie
With the movie world now being saturated by super hero and villain stories, Mortal actually dared to do something different and for the most part, it worked.
As much as I love Marvel and DC, Gods have always been something special to me. Reading books of the Mythology of the Greeks and the Norse hasn’t given me a license to Judge but has given me a better understanding of what it is that works and doesn’t cinematically.
Nat Wolff plays Eric, who does an excellent job of portraying a man who is living on what I’d call the “edge” of humanity – somewhere inbetween reality and something unexplained. He’s a man who knows something abnormal is happening to him, but he’s at a loss as to what that is. His path is mostly unknown – we don’t know what’s happening to him at first so we are taking the same journey with him. And through this we can connect to this character.
Then we meet Christine, who in some ways is also living an extraordinary life as a psychologist haunted by her past and by loss. Christine and Eric collide and their worlds suddenly become intertwined. They are both looking for something to ease their pain and find a sort of belonging in each other.
This is not a marvel or DC film and that’s very apparent right from the beginning. And the title of the film actually lends to the story incredibly well because you’re not dealing with a super-human or someone who has mutated on a genetic level to become something else. No, you’re looking at someone who looks every bit as mortal as the rest of us but somehow isn’t.
With Christine’s help, Eric slowly begins to piece together the puzzle of his existence and more to the point, an answer to the questions looming over Eric’s head; who he is and where he has come from.
As the source of villainy in this story is Priyanka Bose who plays some type of government agent named Hathaway. She is definitely the antagonist who represents both the sceptic and the adversary operating from the “shadows” pulling some pretty big strings and creating havoc for Eric at every turn.
As we understand it, Eric is not the enemy but through his reactions to events outside of his control, he is painted as a real threat to even humanity at one point which of course, isn’t that great for Eric. And this only empowers Hathaway even more to reach her goal which is of course, the destruction of the threat.
The movie’s pacing is a little slow at first but eventually, it picks up but only in the last act which is where everything comes to a head and where Eric’s entire world comes crashing down around him. To say that the movie really starts at the end is pretty spot on – every question that Eric has about himself is answered. And at the same time, when Eric should feel all the pieces of the puzzle finally coming together, he is suddenly reminded of just how alone he really is.