“Vikings: Journey to New Worlds” was originally presented in IMAX theaters. It has been telescoped to the DVD format, but it has not gained anything in being shrunken down. Indeed, some camera effects that must have been breathtaking on the big IMAX screen (particularly the sweeping helicopter shots of the Icelandic terrain) are less than enthralling in the DVD small screen format.

The film is basically a living-breathing encyclopedia article on the rise and fall of the Viking culture. The usual suspects and trivia points are here (Iceland has the world’s oldest Parliament, Eric the Red founded Greenland, Leif Ericsson hit North America five centuries before Columbus), but basic questions on Viking life (including diet, healthcare, what they did with the slaves they captured) are not addressed. The film is rich with cheesy CGI effects and cheesier acting by snarling, sneering actors who slice the Scandinavian ham with too much gusto.

The concluding message from this film appears to be that the Vikings were a rather dull bunch. Perhaps they could enjoy a better image with a better film.

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