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Overall Rating
1.95

Awesome: 9.09%
Worth A Look: 9.09%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 31.82%
Total Crap50%

2 reviews, 10 user ratings


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Pathfinder
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by brianorndorf

"The sword vs. the snore"
1 stars

Director Marcus Nispel breaks out in hives whenever a splinter of visual comprehension manages to sneak into one of his pictures. Call me crazy, but I prefer to watch movies where I have a prayer of deciphering the action onscreen. “Pathfinder” is nothing but a massive cinematic smear.

After the Vikings come to North America to rape and pillage, they leave behind their youngest son. Raised by Native Americans, Ghost (Karl Urban) has grown into a fierce warrior, haunted by his heritage, but embraced by his new culture. When the Vikings return (led by obvious casting stupidity #2 for this weekend, Clancy Brown) for another round of destruction, Ghost is pushed into combat, fighting to protect his tribe and the object of his affection (Moon Bloodgood, “Eight Below”) from the bloodthirsty monsters.

“Pathfinder” isn’t a mean-spirited turkey; it’s a serviceable enough tale of barbarian justice and sword-happy bloodshed for the loincloth crowd. A loose remake of the 1987 Nils Gaup motion picture, the new “Pathfinder” has been spruced up for modern audiences and given a sickly shiny new coat courtesy of Nispel.

The reckless director of the inexcusable “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” remake from 2004, Nispel loves to light the dickens out of his pictures. Story? Nope. Dialogue? Bah humbug. Performance? Yeah, right. All Nispel concerns himself with is photographing pretty pictures and how he can edit the holy hell out of them.

Looking like a cross between a Duran Duran video and Ridley Scott’s “Legend,” the snowflake-choked “Pathfinder” spends so much energy on the visual scope of the film, the rest of the picture falls apart soon after the opening titles. Stripping out every color but steely blue, pumping so much smoke into the frame you’d think a latter-day Bette Davis was standing somewhere in the background trees, and lighting the film with a cell phone display, Nispel is looking to conjure up the mysterious woodsy virginity of North America, but all he actually achieves is a swarming sensation of bewilderment.

It’s nearly impossible to tell what’s happening onscreen at any given moment of the film. Nispel knows nothing about spatial relationships, suspenseful moments, or simple by-the-numbers action direction. It’s a revenge film with Vikings, how impossible a task is that to dramatize? Apparently the weight is too much of a burden for Nispel, and “Pathfinder” grows quite tiring as the filmmaker bumbles each and every scene. He even manages to make an action sequence centered on snow sledding feel confused and claustrophobic.

Another nagging problem for “Pathfinder” is the dialogue. Well, you’d have to lose the director first, but there’s a terrific silent action film inside this material that’s just begging for a shot at the screen. When “Pathfinder” stops to observe the characters interacting, what comes out is real hokey Native American mysticism and tiresome Nordic bellowing. It doesn’t add a single spot of majesty to the picture.

In fact, when placed inside a film featuring Vikings that look more like members of GWAR and Karl Urban trying to act butch enough to cover the fact that he’s running around in a dishrag and Uggs, any opportunity to stop the film to chat is a bad idea. “There are two wolves inside every man’s heart.” Good heavens, get back to the sledding!

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=15579&reviewer=404
originally posted: 04/15/07 13:40:58
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User Comments

2/13/10 art MARCUS NISPEL"S BEST PROJECT WAS the 2009 REMAKE OF THE 1980 CLASSIC FRIDAY the 13TH! 1 stars
11/12/08 PAUL SHORTT A ONE-NOTE SLOG THROUGH SOME PAINFULLY FAMILIAR TERRITORY 1 stars
8/28/08 Shaun Wallner This movie was Awesome!! Loved It. 5 stars
4/27/08 ACTION MOVIE FAN GOD AWFULFILM-NO STORY TERRIBLE BATTLE SCENES-TOO DARK TO DULL 1 stars
2/17/08 daveyt don't buy, don't rent... total crap! 1 stars
12/02/07 Bnorm The Action wasnt even good. the vikings in this movie were outrageous 1 stars
9/26/07 Jareed17 It was really good. great scenes. I don't know why no one liked it! 5 stars
9/10/07 QC Very good action movie - similar in some ways to 300 4 stars
7/03/07 William Goss Plenty of action, but nearly no excitement. Nearly qualifies as an eighties throwback. 2 stars
4/25/07 Gloria Dornin I actually liked it though it was kind of dark (low lighting) and sure made me never want t 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  13-Apr-2007 (R)
  DVD: 31-Jul-2007

UK
  27-Apr-2007

Australia
  N/A




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