Mortal is How You Do Superhero Movies – YES! I cannot even begin to tell you how much I loved this movie. Oh – wait, the movie is Mortal…a Norwegian movie about a realistic superhero? It’s as if Chronicle and Thor had a lovechild – and Mortal popped out. Only glitch is, this movie is hard to get a hold of. I literally had to VPN over to the UK’s Prime in order to rent a copy. And I had to evoke my British Bank even – it got hairy there for a bit. TRUST ME, I’M NOT A LOUD AMERICAN TRYING TO RENT THIS MOVIE… uh, sorry about the yelling. But if you’d like to give it a shot – you can find it right here. Or maybe you’d have better luck with a VPN and TalkTalk? The fact that this film isn’t available yet in America is a literal crying shame. But just because the distributors are clueless doesn’t mean I’m not going to talk about it… dang it.
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The Movie Mortal is your standard, everyday superhero movie. It opens with a clueless victim of an accident. It ends with a triumphant rush of applause, and with everything right in the world. Uh, no. Not even close. Let’s walk through this one, and see what we have on our hands.
Mortal Movie Walkthrough
Normal superhero opening: Normal guy, walking the streets of New York. He has girl troubles. And is über sad that his godparents died in a house fire last night, and he couldn’t save them both. In fact, he saved neither, because he was too consumed saving his old Atari 2600 and all his game cartridges (Adventure! for the win!! Literally play this at least once a week.) When, all of a sudden, a radioactive marmot bites him all while getting hit by a green glowing asteroid. It’s the perfect storm, and our hero, the Green Marmot, is born!!
Mortal’s opening: An American in Norway, visiting his long lineage of Norwegian family, is completely flummoxed when fire and lightening explodes in and around him, as his entire family dies in the pyre. Burnt. Hurting, and lost, Eric (played by Nat Wolff of Kill Team and Paper Towns) decides it’s better to try and survive in the woods for the next few years, than to be around other people. Seriously injured. He is seen by teens who jump him, and he accidentally kills one of them by burning him from the inside out. And the teen’s father that is killed, mentally takes out a blood oath to kill the man that killed his son.
Normal Superhero Villain: In every other superhero movie, the villain is a red skulled misfit that has discovered the world’s unbridled hate for his brand of oligarchy. Which can only mean that the world must be blistered and broken by his brand of strong armed “truth.” This villain manufactures legions of mindless followers in jackboots and sniper rifles to spread his love for obeisant followers. His solution to the broken world is finally coming together.
Mortal’s Villain: The local town sheriff is just trying to get to the bottom of this teenager’s death. He even goes so far as to keep Bjørn (the child’s father) from having “just one minute” with his child’s killer. “It’s time to hear his side of the story now.” Lacking much in the way of villain-esque terrible’-ness, cut to the woman, Hathaway (played by Priyanka Bose – who is best known for her great role as Kamla in Lion) from the US Embassy tasked with collecting Eric, seeing as though he’s an American citizen. Granted, a one dimensional villainous, she basically just wants to get Eric onto the first direct back to the U.S.
Normal Superhero Love Interest: Dimwitted, strikingly gorgeous, and so unforgivably stupid as to not notice between Clark Kent’s – erh, I mean, Fred Dunlop’s, alter ego with glasses, and his Green Marmot hero costume. Crystal Pain’s number one job is to find herself in dumber, and dumber fixes. If she has a choice between heading home for a quiet evening alone and taking a tour of an ISIS Cell Suicidal Kamikaze Group, she 100% of the time chooses the Hezbollah Nuclear Manufacturing plant instead. Because, her beauty can only be truly marveled at when being rescued from the clutches of a maniacal madman ready to melt large swathes of the Middle East.
Mortal’s Love Interest: Our “villain,” the local sheriff realizes that Eric needs help. So he asks a local social worker, Christine (played by Iben Akerlie) to come and see if she can get him to talk. Maybe this was one big misunderstanding – and she’ll have a breakthrough that will allow us to hear about the altercation in his own words. And she does, she connects with Eric, and really tries to understand the colossal pain he is under after watching so many people close to him die.
Normal Superhero’s Plot Escalation: When the Green Marmot is slowly learned his powers enough to begin listening to the shortwave scanner his Grandfather left behind – and starts fighting crime on the side. (Because that’s what you’d do with your Green Marmot powers, for sure.) The Green Marmot realizes that the rapid increase in crime on the South Side is actually just a cover for a global plan that will begin with a heist of the United Nations. Determined to save the day, he runs to the side of the head of the UN, Mr. Nelson Nelson Fingally. (I’m really starting to think that this Green Marmot story needs a real screenplay writer to help volunteer and make this guy a reality!)
Mortal’s Plot Escalation: Hathaway convinces Eric to sedate himself, and sign up for a helicopter ride. But after saying his goodbyes to Christine, and going under for the ride, he wakes up mid-flight, and causes a instantaneous storm to form. And when the helicopter crashes, he is only able to save one person, and he chooses Hathaway, his unwitting “villain.” Leaving her safe, he heads out to find Christine, he’s only refuge in a world that he feels he will accidentally burn down. After the two are reunited – and he almost accidentally kills her – they head out to the farm where he first gained his powers. And the sheriff volunteer’s to help. But along the way, Eric has an electrifying interlude on a bridge and an encounter with Hathaway’s faceless sniper rifles. Getting free, they make it to the farm where he originally morphed into who he is now.
Normal Superhero’s Conflict & Denouement: The United Nation has been tunneled under – and there are stacks and stacks of nuclear bombs ready to send New York and a large swath of the Eastern Seaboard into the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Nelson Nelson Fingally is actually a plant, a double for our evil villain… he’s been swapped out six months before… and no one noticed. But the Green Marmot – with super burrowing skills, is able to tunnel underneath the UN and cut all the nuclear bomb’s RED wires, just in time before the final fateful moment. While also saving Crystal Pain from falling to her death. Or something lame. I mean – that is literally a child’s cartoon version of a plot. And yet, it’s basically how they all work.
Mortal’s Conflict and Denouement: When Eric heads down into the farmhouse where he changed, he’s glued to the floor. Diggers come in, and open up a catacomb like location where Eric finds piles and piles of runes – knowledge from the old Nordic gods – and also a hammer. But Hathaway is worried. She’s afraid that Eric, or Thor, as the people are calling him now as he exits the house with his hammers, and his lightening, will be a threat to the world, and to civilization as we know it. Which, might be a fair assessment.
So she gives the call to her snipers to shoot. And this is where this movie completely right hooks standard super hero movies in the jaw. Christine, who was running to Eric, is shot in the head, and immediately killed. Brilliant. WHAT?!?! You can’t do that!!! Uh. Yeah, you can, and they just did. So fantastic. Which, on a good day, Eric was having trouble controlling his powers. And now? It’s over. Eric calls on all the lightening, every possible bolt, and rains it down on everyone nearby. He chases people with his arcs. He mows them down one by one by one. And as the movie ends, we see a news report calling out the massive number of dead at the site. The end.
Mortal Movie Theories and Ideas
I’ve recently started a Patreon for those of you that want to support this site and what we do here – if you dig it, would you consider jumping in? There will be rewards for joining. And one of them will be added movie theories and ideas. And today is the first one. Don’t fret, if you aren’t a Patreon subscriber, I’ll still give you the goods. But if you want the added bloviation and insight, that’ll be held for the THiNC. Crazies.
Mortal tells the story of a normal guy. It tells the story of a kid who really, happens to become a god. A god with horrible powers, and enormous repercussions. And if it were to happen literally – it would be an enormous development for the world. Nietzsche once said, “God is dead, and we have killed him.” Could this just be a natural realization of this idea? Sure, we now have a god… more an L’Enfant terrible than a god. What would happen tomorrow to the world if this literally happened today?
My first reaction is that Mortal is just trying to be the perfect Super Hero movie. And it succeeded. I cared about Eric. I cared about Christine, and her desire to help Eric. I loved the local sheriff, and the town that this was all happening to. It was literally the characters that drove this action, and the movement of this film. This guy didn’t ask to become “Thor.” He wasn’t looking to kill anyone. Or save anyone. Eric was just as overwhelmed by what was happening as everyone else. I’ve always said that Chronicle is a nigh on perfect superhero movie. But I think Mortal might have just sprinted past Chronicle for this particular accolade.
Alright, from here on out, I’ll keep the rest of my theories for the Patreon subscribers…
Edited by: CY