Nicolas Winding Refn’s latest saga of primal masculine rage, Valhalla Rising sets itself in 1000 A.D. in the Scandinavian mountains, where a mute warrior slave dubbed One Eye (Mads Mikkelsen) is held captive in a cage, only allowed out to battle for sport while tethered at the neck to a wooden post. Desperate to return to his home, One Eye escapes confinement, murders his captors, and – along with a young boy following cautiously behind him – makes his way through the mist-enshrouded hills, which Refn shoots with a panoramic awe that, along with One Eye’s blood-red visions of the future, drench the action in otherworldly portentousness. One Eye soon joins forces with Christian warriors headed to Jerusalem, though once their ship passes through a never-ending fog, they arrive in a strange land, a development that allows the director to cast a critical eye on pious true believers, man’s bestial nature, and – via One Eye’s final act – God’s capacity for forgiveness and salvation. Valhalla Rising’s portrait of testosterone-injected brutality aligns it with Bronson even as its languorous, often pretentious pace – and attendant festishizing of silence and hazy landscapes – is far removed from Refn’s Clockwork Orange-inspired prior work. If its mythologizing of its environment and male physiques (and fury) never quite leads anywhere as momentous as the early-going suggests, Mikkelsen verifies that, even without saying a word, he’s an unnervingly unhinged presence.