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Or as it's also called Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King, Ring of the Nibelungs or Sword of Xanten.

At first glance it might look like a Lord of the Ring ripoff but it has absolutely nothing to do with J.R.R Tolkien fantasy. In fact: It's based on the Saga of the Völsungs, which is a Icelandic medieval saga... No wait! It's based on the Götterdämmerung, a German opera play that is in turn based on several stories including the Saga of the Völsungs... what?


The film starts with us watching our protagonist Siegfried as a child being evacuated from a castle under siege. His mother manage to get him to a floating branch but with arrows sticking up their backside she dies shortly after with her last words being: "Hold on tight." He later gets picked up by a fishing blacksmith who takes care of Siegfried. It turns out Siegfried has an even more selective memory than I do and thus repress the memory of the events leading up to that point. Since Siegfried doesn't remember his name his step-father named him Eric.

To a start the film has real trouble of getting the viewer to understand what's going on but as it moves along it picks up the pace and the viewer starts to become more comfortable. The reason is that the film claims all of this is happening in Europe, but it follows Norse mythology - it's a bit confusing but apparently the Saga of the Völsungs covers events in Europe as well, on the other hand it might also have some things to do with Götterdämmerung which the film is also inspired by... Anyway Siegfried is an acceptable protagonist but pretty simple-minded during some parts of the movie. He has a knack of revealing his secrets to people out of honesty which isn't wise to do at all since the antagonist makes use of this information to Siegfried's disadvantage. The antagonist in this film doesn't impress me either. He's trying to be a treacherous figure but falls more into the spoiled, selfish noble archetype instead - which doesn't offer as much feelings towards him as he could have gone for.

The story or plot and such is pretty straightforward, but it lacks a good intrigue for the first 40 minutes (the movie is 173 min long) and Siegfried seems like he doesn't have any weaknesses at all. After that mark he starts to seem a bit more vulnerable as his simple-mindedness seems to put him into trouble.

The movie also gave me the impression of it being a bit cheap, as the production value seemed for me to be pretty low due to the graphics and the effects.

It's not amazing but it's not a time waster either. It it goes on television, you can probably watch it with half an interest. Otherwise it's not really worth your hard earned dough.
 





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