MORTAL is a new Fantasy Adventure origin story rooted in Nordic mythology. It’s a real slow-burn which I actually liked. Along the way, it changes style a bit which I did not care for. However, the ending definitely left me wanting more. Read our full Mortal movie review here!
MORTAL is a new Fantasy Adventure movie by André Øvredal who has a wonderful resume. I’ll get back to that later.
This time around, the story plays out in his native Norway though it’s mostly in English since the main character is American. It’s an origin story rooted in Nordic mythology and yes, a hammer does end up playing a key role. In other words, I hope you can guess who this is referring to.
Overall, this movie is a real slow-burner which won’t be for everyone. I really liked this part of the movie and it has become somewhat of a trademark for the director. However, I ultimately felt let down by the movie. It didn’t deliver in ways I expected but maybe that’s just my own ideas getting in the way of enjoying the story that is told.
Continue reading our full Mortal movie review below.
Nordic mythology in a modern-day setting
On paper, this is exactly the kind of movie I should enjoy. And I did for a long time. Especially thanks to the two leading actors. First, there’s Iben Akerli as Christine and she is much better in this than she was in Lake of Death which is on Shudder now. In that movie, her character was oddly off, which I certainly don’t blame her for. Then comes the American stranger portrayed by Nat Wolff who also played the lead in the Netflix movie Death Note (read the review here).
Still, in terms of Nordic mythology origin stories, I would watch season 1 of the Netflix series Ragnarok again rather than watch Mortal once more. And this is coming from someone who really likes André Øvredal and the actors in this movie.
Recommended reading (and watching) here: The Netflix series Ragnarok about the second-coming of Thor in present-day >
Overall, it just misses a few too many marks for my liking. It really shines at times, when it’s slow and creepingly shows what this is actually about. Later on, it just becomes a cliché. Especially since the tough female character is reduced to a sidekick, who suffers the ultimate fate of being the love interest of a would-be hero.
Watch Mortal at home!
As mentioned earlier, André Øvredal is the director of Mortal. He previously directed such brilliant and loved genre movies as Troll Hunter (2010) and The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016). Also, he directed Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) which was produced by Guillermo del Toro and he will direct the sequel Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark 2 which is currently in pre-production.
In terms of the story in Mortal, it was written by Geoff Bussetil, Norman Lesperance, and André Øvredal himself. Geoff Bussetil previously wrote on the UK series Skins which was brilliant at showing teenagers being actual teenagers. Sort of like Skam almost a decade before Skam came out. In Mortal, the characters aren’t teenagers, but they are relatively young.
However, I certainly stand by my initial statement that Mortal left me wanting more. Which is positive. Because now I want a sequel to see what comes next. Though I do also appreciate the very ballsy and sudden ending. After all, this is an origin story and an origin is exactly what we get with Mortal.
Mortal is out on Digital from August 3, 2020, and DVD August 24, 2020, in the UK.
Director: André Øvredal
Writers: Geoff Bussetil, Norman Lesperance, André Øvredal
Stars: Nat Wolff, Iben Akerlie, Priyanka Bose, Arthur Hakalahti, Per Egil Aske
Based on ancient Norse Mythology, a young boy must discover the origins of his extraordinary powers before he is captured by authorities hell-bent on condemning him for an accidental murder. A breath-taking and thrilling origins adventure story about one boy’s journey to uncover who, or what, he really is.