Action Movie Fanatix Review: Pathfinder

Pathfinder banner

Two Worlds.  One War.  The Ultimate Battle Begins.

Starring: Karl Urban, Moon Bloodgood, Russell Means, Ralf Moeller, Clancy Brown

Director: Marcus Nispel

2007  |  107 Minutes  |  Rated R

“There are two wolves fighting in each man’s heart. One is Love, the other is Hate.” – Starfire
“Which one wins?” – Ghost
“The one you feed the most.” – Starfire

Pathfinder really should have been a movie that I enjoyed.  The plot is essentially Vikings vs. Native Americans except that the Native Americans put up next to no fight, instead relying on the Viking boy they raised to defend them.

A Viking boy is left behind after his clan battles a Native American tribe.  Raised within the tribe, Ghost (Karl Urban) ultimately becomes their savior in a fight against the Norsemen.

Seeing some sort of big Viking vs. Native American battle royale would have been pretty interesting showing the different styles of fighting that each culture possessed but that is not at all what we have here.

The Vikings are basically presented as huge monsters.  Obviously this is an incredibly shallow and inaccurate view of the Vikings as a whole but it sort of works for this movie.  In the case of the Vikings this representation is purposeful even doing things like treating the horns on the Viking helmets as monster/demon horns.

The Native Americans on the other hand seem to be completely helpless.  The only reason they stand any chance at all is because of Ghost.

I usually like him but Karl Urban is completely bland and emotionless here but, then again, so is everyone else.

The two shining lights in the acting department are Pathfinder (Russell Means), the wise old man, and Starfire (Moon Bloodgood), Ghost’s love interest.  Neither is putting forth an Oscar winning performance but at least they are trying.

Entire movie is shot with a filter with seemingly little purpose other than to possibly look cold or dreamlike but I am not sure it was that well thought out.  The purpose may have been as simple as, “Hey, this looks cool!”

A movie like this would have done well to imitate what 300 had done so well, take a minimal script and deliver the bloody entertaining action in droves.  The biggest issue Pathfinder has is that while it delivers plenty of blood and action it fails to present anything entertaining.  It should be impossible for a movie with a Hollywood budget and a script jam packed with bloody violence to be boring.  At the very least I should have enjoyed the beheadings and I couldn’t even get in to those.

Pathfinder could have been something pretty cool but poor acting, a crappy script, bad direction and a complete lack of fun ruined it.

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