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Pathfinder More at IMDbPro »

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178 out of 271 people found the following review useful:

Good action scenes wasted on terrible story, acting and editing.

5/10
Author: access_code_1 from Big Kahuna Burger Joint
15 January 2007

What a waste.

The only redeeming feature of this movie were the well made action scenes (not all were good, but overall there were more enjoyable fight sequences than boring ones).

The story is clichéd and predictable. The acting is terrible (the main role is so horribly sketched out that you can barely blame the actor, the supporting roles all make a mark for their blandness). The main couple have no chemistry, the dialog is UN-enjoyably bad and the editing looks like it was done by a blind man. Scenes start and end with absolutely no flow. One scene was particularly bad (I wont spoil it for you, suffice to say its the one where the Indians charge into battle against the hero's wishes). That is the only scene when I laughed in the movie, and its supposed to be a sad/rousing scene.

The trailer of this film looked really pretty, but then again the consisted of mostly the fight scenes so I'm not surprised at all. The director seems to have had a good eye for visuals, but his effort has ended there.

Pathfinder = 5/10 Five for the fight scenes.

I was trying to find a path out of the theater at many times during the movie.

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218 out of 367 people found the following review useful:

Worse than I could have ever imagined.

3/10
Author: Pete Simone (ps42) from Auburn, MA, United States
13 April 2007

I'm not quite sure how director Marcus Nipsel and company managed to take this screenplay, which had potential, and suck every ounce of life, drama and coolness out of it. They did, though. Pathfinder proves to be another completely forgettable historical action movie at best, generic as hell, right down to your cookie-cutter indestructible action hero (played by Karl Urban).

My biggest gripe with the film, and I have many, comes from how long it was pushed back for. If I remember correctly, it was first slated for release in January of '06. It was delayed well over a year, and I assumed that the crew were editing, re shooting and doing other things that might make the film better. I should have remembered what happens when one assumes. In reality, they were just waiting around for a good time to release the film, because it obviously didn't improve in that year and a half. At one point, they literally insert stock footage of an avalanche instead of creating their own CGI (or real) avalanche. Who are you guys kidding? There are about six words worth of meaningful dialog in this film. The Vikings don't even look human, nobody ever really explains why they're going out of their way to kill everyone. The Native Americans are portrayed as weak and stupid, little more than target practice. This film just lets the arrows fly and the heads roll.

The acting is horrendous as well. Its got some cool action scenes, but thats about it. It might have been a blessing having so little dialog in Pathfinder, because if how brutal the little that was present proved to be. It was like, Covenant bad. The script literally sounds like it was written by a child.

Overall, Pathfinder wastes its potential and fails to prove itself worthy of anyone's time, let alone anyone's money. No amount of good action could have saved this film from its fate.

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118 out of 197 people found the following review useful:

One Lost

3/10
Author: ecko_47 from United States
16 April 2007

Twenty years ago, there was a terrific Norwegian action film called "Pathfinder" set in the Dark Ages and dealing with a boy whose family is slaughtered by marauders; villagers take him in. When the boy has grown into a young man, the marauders return, affording our hero the chance to repay his benefactors by avenging himself on the bad guys. It was brisk and chilly and had a real sense of mythic resonance. It was good.

Here, now, is another film called "Pathfinder," virtually identical in plot. And it is everything the original was not: muddled, ugly, pointless, silly, incoherent, overly familiar and exceedingly dull. It is not good.

German director Marcus Nispel, who remade "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" a couple of years back and likely is working on a lousy new version of something else now, has an eye: The film is handsome. But he has no ear or brain -- or at least not those parts of the brain that deal with such niceties as narrative, character, dialogue and logic.

Karl Urban (Eomer to "Lord of the Rings" fans) stars a Nordic boy raised by Native Americans after being left behind in a Viking raid of North America. Probably the filmmakers (a dozen producers are credited) thought the introduction of Native Americans allowed for soulful depths. Actually, it allows for painfully dim clichés about prophecy, spirits and discovering "who you are" -- as patronizing in its way as the most insult-ridden cowboys-and-Indians movie of the '30s.

Other characters include a heroic love interest (Moon Bloodgood), a wise elder (Russell Means) and a mute sidekick (Kevin Loring). These brief descriptions are about all the depth these characters ever acquire.

Most of "Pathfinder" is given over to ridiculous chases and fights that remind you how skillful "Apocalypto" was at similar scenes. Someone who had never seen an action movie wouldn't credit a minute of it. In a way, it's perfect: You can't imagine anyone seeing this mess and not feeling lesser for the experience.

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87 out of 140 people found the following review useful:

Not a bad B-movie

7/10
Author: byrdman-6 from United States
14 April 2007

This is pretty good B-movie. If you want subtle plot and dialog then you should have figured out from the trailer and the poster that this show is not for you.

Yes, it appears to be inspired by a Frazetta painting (see Death Dealer) and is surely derivative of Conan and Tarzan. But how long has it been since a good Conan or Tarzan movie.

Lots of gore, lots of decapitations (but as Joe Bob would say, all necessary for the plot) lots of low key lighting to make the special effects easier to pull off but then again, it's not a chick flick.

If only we still had drive in movies.

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105 out of 179 people found the following review useful:

Little Story Well Made

8/10
Author: ekawalaski from United States
3 June 2007

I have read many comments here that hated the film. One of my friends who accompanied me to the screening disliked it as well. He thought it was a waste of time, too. Unfortunately, many viewers, such as my friend, miss the point, as they in fact look for a point.

Unlike the new trend of films of this era, "Pathfinder" did not submit to the theme of freedom, the political freedom. None of the characters pronounce the word freedom, such as the main character of the film, "300," who shouted it out loud. Instead, the main character of the film, Ghost, battles himself and "his demons" in order to find his own freedom and to fit in. Ghost tries to look for the peace he was raised in.

"Pathfinder" challenges the modern stage of film-making, and re-introduces a somewhat Western ideology that John Wayne's "The Searchers" had introduced in 1956. Therefore, the audience has to place themselves in a position to examine each character-groups' point of view. In that respect, the film offers some depth to the little story that is filled with violent battle scenes.

The battle scenes are enjoyable. There is a certain level of combat cruciality. That is also a part of the little depth the story gives us. Thus, the issue of good and evil surfaces in the film in how battle is a balancing aspect of the life each side's lives.

Of course since this film is trying to appeal to the general audience, a certain degree of love and romance is involved. The love and romance of this film is actually not all-so-bad, although I am not quite found of. However, it brings a little strength into the issue of choice of life Ghost must endear.

I think "Pathfinder" lives up to its own introduction, "Legend." Therefore, it is filmed as such, an old legend. The film-makers saw it as such, and they wanted to let us see it too. I know I did. The dialogue(s) is not the perfect one, but must resemble the simplicity of older times. I do not think this is the greatest film ever made; however, it is a well made film which I think people will enjoy its little story, if they can go past the neo-ideology and "what's the point?" issue.

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33 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Dances with Vikings

6/10
Author: mstomaso from Vulcan
13 February 2008

Nipsel and company basically hybridized the structure of Dances with Wolves with a not-quite-historical fiction (more like radical speculation) plot about interactions between Norsemen and Native Americans during the 12th century A.D.

Ghost (Karl Urban) is a Norse boy left behind aboard a wrecked ship. He is adopted by the Clan of the Dog (the dogs who cohabitate with this tribe are historically inaccurate, but that's just one of many historical transgressions). As he grows up, Ghost's obvious difference and his history become something of a stumbling block for him, but he works hard to overcome them in order to be accepted by his adoptive people. Eventually, it seems, he must confront the demons of his past, and unfortunately, so must the Clan of the Dog.

Pathfinder is played well by Russell Means, and Ghost's love interest - Starfire - is nicely portrayed by Moon Bloodgood. Urban has great physical talent, but this story did not lend itself to testing his ability to create drama and mood, so there isn't much to say about his performance. Likewise, most of the Norse characters were so under-developed and one-dimensional that it is impossible to comment on the performances involved.

Although the story relies on stereotypes to develop both its Norse and Native American characters, since so little is actually known about the Norse colonies, this seems forgivable. What is not really forgivable, in my opinion, is the reiteration of the trope established in Dances with Wolves and other similar works which suggests that it takes a European to effectively fight off Europeans. Although the characterizations of the protagonists in both films are adequate to explain their behavior, the character and behavior of the Native Americans attached to them is less well developed, and there is a lingering, inaccurate and disturbing shadow of inferiority implied in their apparent inability to strategize and effectively lead in combat.

However, Pathfinder refuses to touch reality with any length of pole, so, sit back and enjoy the action, costumes and sets.

The film contains a lot of violence, most of which is convincingly shot. The costuming is excellent, and the sets are lovely. if you can get past the problems - which are several - you may just enjoy it.

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59 out of 98 people found the following review useful:

visually arresting

Author: salad_days-1 from United States
21 April 2007

Pathfinder was not nearly as bad as many people are making it out to be. True, the editing was mediocre at best, with the seasons clearly out of whack. There were some pretty odd incongruencies with language as well. The filmmakers relied on some trite Native American imagery and stereotypes...

But Pathfinder was obviously never about the plot or silly Viking outfits. Ultimately I think the filmmakers wanted to impress upon the viewers the starkness of the landscape of "uncivilized" North America, and how the people who lived there survived. One of the best lines in the movie is delivered when Ghost tells his lady friend that the Vikings know eternal winter, but "don't know our spring." I think the movie, in its own kind of botched way, did a good job conveying the awe, reverence and fear that the people who lived in N.A. had for the seasons and the natural environment.

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106 out of 192 people found the following review useful:

Uninspired action movie

2/10
Author: badidosh from Philippines
15 March 2007

Based on a 1987 Norwegian film, "Pathfinder" stars Karl Urban as Ghost, a young Viking who was raised by a tribe of Native Americans after being left behind by his Viking father after a raid on the new world. Years later, a new set of Vikings set foot on their land, and Ghost feels obliged to defend his foster people.

While the film's acting overall is as frigid as the environment, and that the actors are playing no more than stock characters where, "Pathfinder" makes no pretense in presenting itself as a more-brawn-than-brain kind of film.

Granted it's perhaps the case, but the direction of Marcus Nispel is heavily uninspired. Whereas recent films like Mel Gibson's "Apocalypto" and Zack Snyder's "300" prove that a film with minimal plot can have its moments if it can build up on tension and sustain a viewer's attention, "Pathfinder" fails to do so. Action scenes are at most moderately entertaining and lacks a kind of punch that would elevate it into a cinematic status. Attempts to impart emotions fall flat and there's no chemistry between Urban and Moon Bloodgood who plays the the obligatory role of the female sidekick.

Overall, "Pathfinder" is a film sorely lacking in impact, that it would leave the viewer in the cold more than it would excite.

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50 out of 82 people found the following review useful:

Hilarious!

2/10
Author: themowg from Alabama, USA
25 April 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was quite possible the worst movie I have ever seen. Ridiculous plot, no character development, absurdly unbelievable: this film gives up on the suspension of disbelief about 5 minutes into it. Sure, it has some decent action and cinematography, but as a whole, this movie is a joke. A hilarious joke. I can best describe it as an hour and a half of Walker: Texas Ranger blended with Army of Darkness and a sprinkle of randomness.

Here is the plot: insane, genocidal Vikings with apparently nothing better to do in Scandinavia sail to America to trash the place and kill wantonly. Unlike the Vikings of history, who at least targeted plunder to make their raiding worthwhile, these bad guys just like to destroy stuff: baskets of cranberries, Native American women, whatever. This guy "Ghost," (cleverly named for his pale skin) who is himself a Viking, embarks upon a quest for vengeance upon the evil Vikings, because he identifies more with the natives than his former people. Along the way, a random retarded native decides to follow him in his quest and gets killed, for no apparent purpose. The love interest also tags along, occasionally helping, and this old native "The Pathfinder," who is apparently some sort of badass, shows up to provide some wisdom ("If you cannot defeat the bear, use the bear's strength against him.") and also to get killed. The inexplicably idiotic Vikings then take Ghost as a guide to the next village, presumably to wreak more senseless destruction. Ghost tricks them into getting caught under an avalanche, and everyone lives happily ever after. The End.

Sound pitiful? That's because it is. I must say, however, that the final scene of the movie is so overwhelmingly cliché that I honestly laughed the entire walk from my seat in theatre to my car in the parking lot--a distance of about 200 yards. It was that laughable.

That said, I do not regret seeing the movie, as it isn't often that one gets to view a serious contender for the worst movie of his life. Hope this helps.

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39 out of 64 people found the following review useful:

Not as bad as some have painted it to be

5/10
Author: sobeit712 from Canada
3 July 2007

If you went to see the movie expecting something like Mel Gibson's Apocalypto, you will be disappointed obviously. But why would you expect it to be Apocalypto if you've seen the trailer? It tells a mythical tale of a legendary Norseman who was raised by native Americans. They called him ghost. And it's this ghost who ended up protecting the tribes from the destruction of the Viking Clang who shared the same lineage with him. The plot line is just that simple. What kept me entertained was the action sequence, absolutely stunning cinematography and the overall presentation and atmosphere. The overall tune of the movie is dark, mythical and menacing, fit perfectly well for the theme. Vikings are presented more like beast than man, with giant statue and equally ghastly giant armors and weapons.

Some may argue that the vikings in this movie kill senselessly without any purpose. Does having a purpose makes evil more sensible? I have good news for people who are looking for reasons behind evil: they all have purposes and reasons, so don't waste time seeking one for them. Bad news for you: it absolutely makes no difference! Throughout human history, all aggressors had plenty of reasons to invade, ravish and destroy other culture and lives, the list goes from Vikings to Hitler... and it will probably go on forever. But does having reasons and purposes to kill make the killing more sensible? Absolutely not.

In this movie, Vikings are symbolic evil. Giving it a reason to kill doesn't make any differences as I stated above: they all have reasons, pick one and get over with it. On the other hand, the movie was trying to suggest that not only there's this battle of good and evil going on in the physical world, there's also a battle of hate and love in one's heart. When asked: who would won, Ghost was given the answer: the one you feed the most. It's a very interesting theme that I wish the director would explore a little bit deeper. But in the end, violence prevailed the screen time. The thought of inner struggle and loftier redemption was lost in the midst of killing and vengeance. No sin was forgiven and no bad deeds went unpunished. Though it's a more satisfying end, but a shallow one.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie for what it is. I'm not looking for complicated plot nor deeper character development. For an action movie, its visually stunning, fast paced and immersing. It kept me interested throughout the 90 minutes and left me pondering about some unfulfilled premises. It's not as bad as some have painted it to be.

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