Sunday, April 29, 2007

Movie: "Pathfinder" (1.5/5) 2007

Saw this at the theater today.

Below average film that could have been so much better.

Premise: Viking ship crashes in North America 500 years before Columbus. A Viking boy is the only survivour and is taken in by the natives.

Jump ahead 15 years, and the boy has grown into Karl Urban, kiwi mega-hunk. Now, the Vikings have returned and they aren't there for tea and crumpets. Urban has no problem carrying the role. He's got loads of presence, and I see lots of leading roles for him in the future.

The main problem is that the direction is muddled and hard to follow. Not enough time was spent on the action sequences and choreography, so there are only quick flashes of sequences that are blurry and indistinct.

Of course, the direction is just one of the strange decisions from the film makers.

- The colour scheme is bordering on black and white, but with bright colour every once in a while; the scenes with colour weren't important or significant, and the choices seemed somewhat random (maybe trying to ride on the success of films like "Sin City"?).
- There were all kinds of strange anachronisms, like stairs in a native village (believe me - never happened - it's like finding a samurai sword there)
- Rituals were thrown in from lots of different Indian tribes that had nothing to do with the one they were dealing with in the movie, and even some Indian rituals and practices given to the Vikings - very odd.

While a film like Apocalypto put significant effort into being historically accurate, it felt very much like they didn't want to bother in Pathfinder. It comes through strongly in look and feel.

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