Pathfinder Movie Review
Starring: Karl Urban, Moon Bloodgood
Directed by: Marcus Nispel
Rated: R for strong brutal violence throughout
99 minutes (a.k.a. FEREVER)
Welcome to the review of the worst movie of 2007, so far. I know, that is a pretty heady title to put on a film that I had listed as “To See”. I realize that 2007 has barely even begun and I might have to stick with this as “worst movie” for quite a while…well, I’m willing to. This movie was bad on a level seldom approached in recent years- bad on so many levels that the badness has yet to sink into my head, in the “bad” section…. It refuses to land, but keeps floating up in front of my eyes, going, “Remember me? Remember how bad I was? Remember the money you gave to them, so that you could see me? Do you now think that was a smile of politeness, as they took your money, or was it a ‘You stupid sucker’ smile, because you were giving them money so you could watch me? And I was really, really bad, wasn’t I? MWAHAHAHA.”
The popcorn was the first hint. When the local theater runs out of the usual white cheddar topping, they replace it with this gross, salty, disgusting stuff, and you don’t know it is the second-grade, replacement topping until you are in your seat and grabbing your first handful, shoving it in your mouth to crunch on happily and –plaw! Eyes bulging, you are trying not to spit it on the floor, as your mouth slowly adjusts to the new flavor, the unexpected flavor, the whatthehell is this flavor…. I am guessing it takes about fifteen to twenty seconds before you assimilate all information and realize it is that horrid, replacement topping, not the usual stuff. There should be a sign, theater people, do you hear me?! A sign you put next to the popcorn topping, that says, “This is not the
Obviously the above was a delaying tactic- trying to avoid revisting Pathfinder, even in my own head.
The story revolves around Ghost, or so I am told upon reading at the IMDb site, but honestly, I do not believe his name was mentioned once in the actual film. Lest you think he is Pathfinder, think again, wouldya? Pathfinder is some old Indian dude who doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the main character, Ghost, except for the fact that Ghost seems to have a big heart-on (wasn’t that punny?) for his daughter. Ghost is a Viking kid, abandoned by the so-called “Dragon Men” a long time ago, raised by the peaceful tribe, and yet still an outsider. Of course.
Now let me say that I have a stretchy sense of belief, ok? I can go a long way in a movie by reminding myself that it isn’t real, it isn’t supposed to be real, and I shouldn’t expect it to be real. But this movie stretched it to the breaking point. Oh, and there are going to be spoilers here, although honestly, if you have seen the previews for this movie, you have seen everything there is to see, and can probably write out a fairly accurate summary of the plot based on that 2 minute clip. Here you go, as example: Vikings come and butcher Indians. Leave child behind. Indians raise child in their ways. Child becomes poofy-muscled man, but always feels a sense of “not belonging”. Vikings come back. Vikings butcher Indians. Poofy-muscled man goes on a butt-kicking rampage to avenge his adopted people. Somewhere in the story, a tough yet vulnerably lovely Indian maiden will 1. Be at risk 2. Risk herself for him 3. Be in love with him for no comprehensible reason. In the end, poofy-muscled man will win and finally know his true self and he and the maiden will live forever happily with many papooses. The end.
Yep, close enough. Now let me tell you how awful they made this simple plot.
First of all, the natives spoke apple-pie English. I seriously expected the braves to start calling each other “dude”. On the other hand, the Vikings spoke some very Swedish-norwegian-icelandic sounding language where every fricking word had about nineteen syllables. So a simple, “Come here” would take fifteen seconds to say… “Shniden volken frienden corlavaska enachoven pianki schnoven rendersundenven orsund!” …and let’s face it, it is just not a scary sounding language.
Ghost, although he has been with the Indians since he was a small boy, has a sword that he apparently has been training himself with. We are supposed to swallow that he has, through solo practice, become this total, supremo swordsman, capable of beating seasoned Viking veterans with no sweat. And not only does he have these great swordsman skills, he can apparently ride a horse pretty damn well, too, although the Indians do not seem to have horses, so it’s doubtful that he has had one to practice on in the last fifteen years.
There are a billion and three reasons why this movie stunk, but I will limit myself to just three more, although they will be in true, run-of-the-sentence kaat style. The entire film is shot in this depressing, dark way…very cool at first, but by the end of the movie you are longing for just one shot in brightness, while the seasons change without warning- first its spring, then its winter, good golly, a snowstorm around every bend, but then WHY do the guys all wear little breechclouts down below and nothing else? ( Big furry coats and cloaks are everywhere, but their thighs look so cold! )The Vikings need to switch to waterproof mascara, because the stuff they are using now makes them look like clowns, although I realize it was supposed to be scary, but seriously, did the Viking really paint their faces before raiding helpless Indian villages? Which brings me to the final- why were the Natives such total wimps? They will face down a roaring bear without batting an eyelash but the entire village is basically wiped out with barely a finger lifted in defense… with the notable exception of the hotheaded young bunch of braves that idiotically stumble into the trap Ghost had set for the bad guys, thus the only person to save them all is poofy-muscled whiteboy who doesn’t even “know who he is”. UGHNEFERSHNEIZEN. That, my friends, is a sound of pure, unadulterated disgust, in Vikingese.
I give it 1 &…
& the horses and the dogs that the Vikings brought (oh yes, of course they traveled the billion miles by boat with their horses and their dogs…wouldn’t you?) were cool looking