Erik the Viking (1989) - Rotten Tomatoes

Erik the Viking (1989)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Erik the Viking Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

An unusually principled young Viking becomes increasing uncomfortable with all the killing and plundering that goes with the job, and sets out on a magical journey in order to bring about world peace. Former Monty Python member Terry Jones attempts to have his story of Erik's seemingly hopeless quest operate as both witty, lunatic satire and sincere children's fantasy. However, despite a good cast and some interesting design elements, the film fails to completely succeed at either of its goals.more
Rating: PG-13 (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy
Directed By: ,
Written By: Terry Jones
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 4, 2007


Gary Cady
as Blacksmith
Mickey Rooney
as Erik's Grandfather
Terry Jones
as King Arnulf
John Cleese
as Halfdan the Black
John Gordon Sinclair
as Ivar the Boneless
Tim McInnerny
as Sven the Berserk
Richard Ridings
as Thorfinn Skullsplitt...
Freddie Jones
as Harald the Missionar...
Charles McKeown
as Sven's Dad
Danny Schiller
as Snorri the Miserable
Tsutomu Sekine
as Slavemaster
Jim Broadbent
as Ernest the Viking, ...
Jim Carter
as Jennifer the Viking,...
Matyelok Gibbs
as Erik's Mum
Tilly Vosburgh
as Unn-the-Thrown-At
Gary Roost
as Prisoner
Jay Simpson
as Leif the Lucky
John Scott Martin
as Ingemund the Old
Sian Thomas
as Thorhild the Sarcast...
Sarah Crowden
as Grimhild Housewife
Bernard Padden
as Mordfiddle the Cook
Bernard Latham
as Ulf the Unmemorable
Julia McCarthy
as Thorfinn's Mum
Allan Surtees
as Thorfinn's Dad
Sandra Voe
as Ivar's Mum
Angela Connolly
as Thorkatla the Indisc...
Sally Jones
as Leif's Pregnant Girl...
Andrew MacLachlan
as Ornulf/Chamberlain/D...
Colin Harper
as Prisoner
Tim Killick
as Bjarni/Halfdan's Gua...
Graham McTavish
as Thangbrand/Citizen/D...
Harry Jones
as Prisoner
Cyril Shaps
as Gisli the Chiseller
Peter Geeves
as Eilif the Mongol Hor...
Paddy Joyce
as Prisoner
Neil Innes
as Hy Brasilian
Dave Duffy
as Horribly Slain Warri...
Frank Bednash
as Even More Horribly S...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Erik the Viking

Critic Reviews for Erik the Viking

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (6)

A stillborn comedy in which minutes sometimes mysteriously go by between even attempted gags, and in which virtually no comic scene works up to any kind of viable punch line or payoff.

Full Review… | April 24, 2011
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

The idea of telling the story of a Viking warrior who thought there must be more to life than rape and pillage is an amusing one, and for the most part Erik the Viking is an enjoyable film.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Not a funny film, and neither well-directed nor exciting.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Doesn't measure up to the best of the Python films, but it consistently entertains through the occasional gags that do not work and dialogue that is sometimes obscured by sound effects.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

An utterly worthless exercise in waste and wretched excess, uninformed by the slightest spark of humor, wit or coherence.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

"Erik the Viking," a Wagnerian slapstick fantasy, has the feel of a grown-up bedtime comedy, a gross, sillier "Princess Bride."

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Erik the Viking


Now this is a film long since lost in the annals of time. Much like the excellent 'Jabberwocky' movie by Terry Gilliam this movie has also been somewhat herded into the Monty Python film collection as a kind of extension to the Python universe. The same could also be said for the movies 'Yellowbeard' and 'Timebandits', unfortunately neither 'Erik' or 'Yellowbeard' are any good really and both fall flat, although this is better than the Chapman vehicle.

Inspired by Jones's own children's story book but strangely enough not following his own creation, the film revolves around Norse mythology although I'm unsure how closely, I doubt its that close. We follow Erik and his viking crew as they travel to Asgard so they may ask the Gods to end the age of Ragnarök. They all believe the sun has been swallowed by Fenrir the mighty wolf which has plunged their world into darkness. So its a travelling into the unknown type adventure which was very popular in the 80's.

I guess the main issue I had with this film (first time seeing it!) was the fact it felt like it was trying to copy various other movies in terms of visuals at least. The whole mystery voyage into the unknown and looking for mystical fabled items angle is cool but so very dated and to be really truly honest this film just felt like a combination of all of the films I mentioned above. The visuals aren't even that exciting really, most of the start is set within a drab dreary Viking village, then we move onto a drab and dreary sea sequence, then we get some exotic visuals but eventually its back to drab and dreary as they find Asgard. Most of the movie looks very cheap and cheerful too, the sea monster is quite nice and typically Python-esque but all sets and costumes (especially wigs) just look very tacky.

I realise Jones has gone for that simple dirty cheap look (classic Python look) but it comes across as a tired attempt. 'Time bandits' had the same kind of visual approach but it also had some good location sequences and an exciting story, this story of Erik didn't really grab me at all. I didn't feel anything for any of the characters, their journey seems too easy, they find their goal quite quickly without doing much, the Gods are just kids which was anti-climatic, nothing really happens during the adventure that is of any real urges of pending failure and the finale is really very weak.

I can't even say any of the characters were good fun...the same old routines which have been seen before in better films. There is a strong element of forced comedy throughout the film which is never really that amusing. The silly goofy characters are just trying way too hard, a good example would be the entire sequence set on Hy-Brasil with Jones in a familiar high pitched speaking role. As for Robbins as Erik...he is miscast in my view, far too meek, not really good looking enough for the hero and with an American accent!...sheesh! what on earth was Jones thinking?! Not even the powerhouse that is John Cleese can help this dull tale, his portrayal of the evil 'Halfdan the Black' as a soft spoken good mannered pleasant seeming chap (basically Cleese playing Cleese or his Robin Hood character from 'Timebandits'), again just felt rehashed and out of place.

There are one or two nice visual moments like the Viking ship going over the edge of the flat Earth and as I said the sea monster (what you see of it), but that's about it. I found the whole thing rather underwhelming frankly despite the solid UK cast and alluringly cool little movie poster. Its pretty unexciting with little to care about and a terrible finale, there are better Python-esque fantasies out there.

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer


If Monty Python ever made a viking adventure comedy, this is what it would have looked like. And as it happens, two MP comedians are involved in this, which is noticeable in every minute. Sometimes silly, sometimes hilarious, always amusing, with a very neat production design, although some of the special effects seem older than 1989. Overall enjoyable and entertaining if you don't mind the overall silliness.

Jens S.

Super Reviewer


Secular Humanist the Viking ...

Adam Mahler

Super Reviewer

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