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'Hammer of the Gods' starring Charlie Bewley and Clive Standen - red band trailer review

Hammer of the Gods

Directed by: Farren Blackburn Starring: Charlie Bewley, James Cosmo, Clive Standen Rating: R Release Date: July 5, 2013

Trailer Score: 4/10

Thoughts by TSR: If Hammer of the Gods came on Syfy or History I might throw it on in the background if I wasn't doing anything else. Based on this trailer, though, it's certainly not something I'm going to seek out this summer. Nothing about it hooks me the way something like this needs to. It looks pretty bland and dark – literally, the visuals are almost all dark – and there isn't one moment that stands out and demands attention.

It comes close, I suppose. There's the beheading during the flurry of Viking action that helps earn the red band designation. But none of it feels special or unique. The tag, in which a Bat Boy look-alike is screaming like a maniac before getting stabbed through the mouth, is something you see every Sunday on AMC's "The Walking Dead." If the more interesting Viking violence is being saved for the film, there's little evidence of it here. The only cast member I'm familiar with is Clive Standen, an actor who clearly has a type. He looks to be playing his "Vikings" character just with less treachery (the nine-episode first season of the History series recently wrapped up, and it's quite good) . I've seen all the Twilight films, but I don't know Charlie Bewley. Unfortunately, his main character doesn't make much of an impression. I do like the music the trailer uses. The minimal approach does a good job setting the tone in the first half, and once it picks up it still doesn't become overbearing.

I'm always up for a good Viking story, so perhaps I'm selling this short. The trailer simply doesn't make me very confident that it will rise above mediocrity.

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