darla’s review published on Letterboxd:
Big manly men go grrrrr honor woof woof grrr revenge
Once you realise that most Hollywood action movies are just excuses for men to watch other men get naked and roll around in the dirt together, you cant really stop seeing it. I found this film to be very homoerotic, and thinly veiled in a painfully heteronormative narrative that just falls into the same cliches that tries to reinforce straight masculinity in the tradition of western mythologies (revenge, honor, family, dynasty).
This film was so over the top at times with its portrayal of masculinity that i did think it was going to have a level of selfawareness and take the narrative in an unconventional direction. Unfortunately that didnt happen, something i realised as Alexander Skarsgård shed the single oscar tear in the closing moments (for an interesting analysis of men crying in Hollywood go watch Pop Culture Detective's Boys Dont't Cry (Except When They Do)).
Overall though i still really enjoyed it. Lots of great performances, costumes, sets, cinematography and well cheorographed bloody fight sequences!