11 December 2008 | intelearts
Sweden's most expensive film ever: epic honor & chivalry with great production values.
Arn - Rikets vid Vägens Slut like Braveheart, or El Cid truly remind us that without honor and chivalry - real service - life is without meaning. It is frankly a straight out terrific watch - it carries its weight as the most expensive Swedish film ever - and some for this movie goer.
Faster, tougher, and with more battles and drama, it is not only longer than its predecessor, it's also a class above.
This is well considered film-making and I take mild exception to those here who found the filming naive or under par: several of the camera shots in the desert are breathtaking; simply outstanding. There seems to more effort this time when it comes to scenery, costuming (Weave and weft look right), lighting, and in particular sound - all are well-judged and the palette particular in the Nordic scenes are full of subtle grays and blues that lend much. Unlike the first one really sees the money up on the screen.
In addition Arn mixes more humor, Norwegians in particular come off with great PR from this, and more seriousness with Royal intrigues aplenty to create some good drama - here some more close-ups would have been really good - especially in the court scenes - the story-telling is too literal and focuses too much on the speaker rather than reactions - but it is a small gripe.
What I'm getting at it that this is a wonderfully watchable film - enough swordplay to satisfy and enough political intrigue and chivalrous love to engage the brain and melt the heart.
The story continues from Arn-Tempelriddaren with Arn still in fealty in the Holy Land but soon to released from his debt to serve, and so return to his Nordic home.
The film is the Swedish Braveheart - and none the worse for that - with some tender moments of real love, good battle scenes, and infighting politics - honestly I recommend this a being a really good and satisfying view.
As you can tell we really enjoyed this - no flack - and would openly and honestly recommend as a great couple of hours to anyone who enjoys films like Braveheart etc;
Regarding some of the other reviews: I see that most of the very negative reviews come from those who loved the books- having never read them maybe I am at an advantage here? Whatever, we loved both films, and this one in particular, and on its won merits it really was one of our favorite films of the year. We got the DVD and just wish they had put extras on it - would love some production notes and a commentary.