Parents' Guide to

Mortal

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Bloody violence in chilly, dour Norwegian fantasy tale.

Movie R 2020 104 minutes
Mortal Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+

The Road... to success, don't be a Thor-loser

This is an entertaining movie and a refreshing pace from the typical eyesore, trope driven, feature film. If you enjoyed The Road, then you'll like this revelation style movie. Instead of blurting every key piece of information, the director slows the whole pace down and lets the story unfold. Most critics are complaining about this, but good things take more time so revel in the unveiling. I think this is an excellent movie to lead kids to discuss pacing in good story telling, the value of showing-not-telling, and CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy). The lead female is a psychologist and coaches the protagonist through CBT throughout the whole movie. There's also a great sub plot about religion. The lead foil for the protagonist, who he saved, believes that people of other religions would freak out because the main character verifies the ancient Norse religion. So her brilliant plan is to assassinate him, to protect the world's religious and faithful. Now she doesn't state her faith, but she refers to them seemingly like 'other'. In doing so, she triggers the events for the sequel, I hope. But it's an interesting demonstration, where the Christian sheriff is more willing to consider this Thor-son, than the faithless bureaucrat who thinks she is uniquely qualified to decide for everyone because if her fear. When faced with the sacred, the only thing she knew to do was kill it, rather than to observe and learn. Big questions tackled in this movie. There is much more good here, if you slow down to enjoy it.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Norwegian director Andre Ovredal's attempt to take back a certain Norse god from Hollywood and return him home has more unanswered questions than thrills, but it's also consistently intriguing. Partly in Norwegian with English subtitles and partly in spoken English, the chilly, icily paced Mortal is indeed something of a variation on Thor. While it wouldn't do to give up any of the movie's surprises, it's safe to say that it has as little to do with the Marvel Cinematic Universe as M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable/Split/Glass trilogy does -- and it has an unexpectedly similar feel to those three films and their quiet sadnesses.

Mortal has a few big visual effects scenes and some small, beautiful ones, like a beam of sun in the middle of a rain shower, but many things are left to the imagination, such as a beautiful tree Eric describes seeing in a vision. The movie mainly seems interested in the choices that Eric will make -- i.e., will he behave as a god or as a man, and, more importantly, will he use his powers for good? The movie ends with the feeling that it could have dug a little deeper into its various themes, but the talented Ovredal's sure touch and strong sense of physical space and atmosphere bless the movie with enough small mysteries to make it worth seeing.

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