Directed by: Marcus Nispel
Premise: Remake of a 1987 Norwegian film. Six hundred years before Columbus, a Viking boy is left behind by his marauding kinsmen and adopted by a Native American tribe. Fifteen years later, Ghost (Karl Urban), fights off the Vikings as they attempt to settle the land and conquer the Native population.
What Works: Overall, the quality of the cinematography in Pathfinder is good, using a washed out, blue tint that conveys a sense of coldness and barbarity. The costuming is also impressive, especially on the Vikings, who have a very frightening look to them.
What Doesn’t: Unfortunately, the impressive look of the film does not translate into much of a story. The striking cinematography is butchered by lousy editing that makes the action sequences very difficult to follow. The dialogue is largely stupid, making the Native Americans sound like characters from an episode of The Lone Ranger. The story does not give Ghost any volition or growth. Things just happen to him and he rolls along with it and in the end he is unchanged. His relationship to his love interest (Moon Bloodgood) and others are stock character associations that have very little life.
Bottom Line: Pathfinder is a mediocre film. While the movie is not a complete disaster, nothing in it is very good either.
Episode: #137 (April 15, 2007)