7.2/10
44,441
85 user 159 critic

Kon-Tiki (2012)

Trailer
2:19 | Trailer
Legendary explorer Thor Heyerdal's epic 4,300-mile crossing of the Pacific on a balsawood raft in 1947, in an effort to prove that it was possible for South Americans to settle in Polynesia in pre-Columbian times.

Writer:

Petter Skavlan
Reviews
Popularity
4,548 ( 118)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Pål Sverre Hagen ... Thor Heyerdahl (as Pål Hagen)
Anders Baasmo Christiansen ... Herman Watzinger
Tobias Santelmann ... Knut Haugland
Gustaf Skarsgård ... Bengt Danielsson
Odd-Magnus Williamson Odd-Magnus Williamson ... Erik Hesselberg
Jakob Oftebro ... Torstein Raaby
Agnes Kittelsen ... Liv Heyerdahl
Peter Wight ... Spinden
Amund Hellum Noraker Amund Hellum Noraker ... Bamse
Eilif Hellum Noraker Eilif Hellum Noraker ... Thor Jr.
Elisabeth Matheson Elisabeth Matheson ... Allison
Kasper Arneberg Johnsen Kasper Arneberg Johnsen ... Thor 6 yrs. (as Kasper Ameberg Johnsen)
Edward Kling Edward Kling ... Erik 7 yrs.
Jo Adrian Haavind ... Journalist
Jonas Heier Straumsheim Jonas Heier Straumsheim ... Photographer
Learn more

More Like This 

Kon-Tiki (1950)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A documentary about the Kon-Tiki expedition of the Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl.

Director: Thor Heyerdahl
Stars: Thor Heyerdahl, Herman Watzinger, Erik Hesselberg
Max Manus (2008)
Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The true story about one of the most brilliant saboteurs during World War II and his battle to overcome his inner demons.

Directors: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg
Stars: Aksel Hennie, Agnes Kittelsen, Nicolai Cleve Broch
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Norwegian winter, early 20th century. On the boys home Bastoy, a new inmate leads the boys to a violent uprising against a brutal regime. How far is he willing to go to attain freedom?

Director: Marius Holst
Stars: Benjamin Helstad, Trond Nilssen, Stellan Skarsgård
All Is Lost (2013)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

After a collision with a shipping container at sea, a resourceful sailor finds himself, despite all efforts to the contrary, staring his mortality in the face.

Director: J.C. Chandor
Stars: Robert Redford
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

April 1940. Norway has been invaded by Germany and the royal family and government have fled into the interior. The German envoy to Norway tries to negotiate a peace. Ultimately, the decision on Norway's future will rest with the King.

Director: Erik Poppe
Stars: Jesper Christensen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Karl Markovics
The Wave (2015)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Although anticipated, no one is really ready when the mountain pass above the scenic, narrow Norwegian fjord Geiranger collapses and creates an 85-meter high violent tsunami. A geologist is one of those caught in the middle of it.

Director: Roar Uthaug
Stars: Kristoffer Joner, Ane Dahl Torp, Jonas Hoff Oftebro
Amundsen (2019)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The life and facts of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, the first man to arrive on the South Pole.

Director: Espen Sandberg
Stars: Pål Sverre Hagen, Christian Rubeck, Katherine Waterston
Uno (2004)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Uno is a story from inner-city Oslo about David, a twentyfive-year-old with few prospects for the future. His days are spent hanging around with petty criminals at an inner-city gym. Still,... See full summary »

Directors: Aksel Hennie, John Andreas Andersen
Stars: Aksel Hennie, Nicolai Cleve Broch, Bjørn Floberg
Ragnarok (2013)
Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Norwegian archaeologist Sigurd Svendsen forms a small team and sets off to find the true meaning of the secret runes found carved in rock and accidentally awakens a giant monster.

Director: Mikkel Brænne Sandemose
Stars: Pål Sverre Hagen, Nicolai Cleve Broch, Sofia Helin
Headhunters (2011)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An accomplished headhunter risks everything to obtain a valuable painting owned by a former mercenary.

Director: Morten Tyldum
Stars: Aksel Hennie, Synnøve Macody Lund, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
The Saboteurs (TV Mini-Series 2015)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story behind Hitler's plan of Germany getting the atomic bomb during WW2, and the heavy water sabotages in Rjukan, Norway, seen from four angles, the German side, the allied, the saboteurs and the company side.

Stars: Andreas Döhler, Robert Hunger-Bühler, Marc Ben Puch
Elling (2001)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When his mother, who has sheltered him his entire 40 years, dies, Elling, a sensitive, would-be poet, is sent to live in a state institution. There he meets Kjell Bjarne, a gentle giant and... See full summary »

Director: Petter Næss
Stars: Per Christian Ellefsen, Sven Nordin, Marit Pia Jacobsen
Edit

Storyline

The Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl crossed the Pacific Ocean in a balsawood raft in 1947, together with five men, to prove that South Americans back in pre-Columbian times could have crossed the ocean and settled on Polynesian islands. After financing the trips with loans and donations, they set off on an epic 101-day-long trip across 8000 kilometers, while the world was waiting for the result of the trip. The film tells about the origin of the idea, the preparations, and the events on the trip. The "Kon-Tiki" was named after the Inca sun god, Viracocha, and "Kon-Tiki" is an old name for this god. Heyerdahl filmed the expedition, which later became the Academy Award winning documentary in 1951, and he wrote a book about the expedition that was translated into 70 languages and sold more than 50 millions copies around the world. Heyerdahl believed that people from South America could have settled Polynesia in pre-Columbian times, although most anthropologists now believe they did not... Written by OJT

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The feature film about a legendary explorer and his epic adventure! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a disturbing violent sequence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In 2006 Olav Heyerdahl, Thor Heyerdahl's grandson, made the same voyage crossing the Pacific Ocean from Peru to Polynesia as a tribute for the original travel. It was shown in the documentary The Tangaroa Expedition. See more »

Goofs

It is not true that every 13th wave is larger than the others, as claimed in the film. In fact, there exists no pattern in wave sizes. In the original Kon-Tiki documentary, it was shown that the crew simply waited for a wave big enough to carry them over the reef. See more »

Quotes

Thor Heyerdahl: [Talking with three National Geographic's members] Gentlemen. Your magazine will be with me on a raft. At the mercy of the winds, all the way to Polynesia. It is further than from Chicago to Moscow. Here to here.
[pointing it in a map behind him]
Committee Member: You'll have some sort of engine in case of emergency?
Thor Heyerdahl: No. Absolutely not. We will surrender to the current and the wind... like Tiki did.
Committee Member: [curious] And by undertaking this extraordinary voyage, you are proving?
Thor Heyerdahl: That the oceans were not barriers, but roads. ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the closing credits, short clips are shown in which original footage shot by Heyerdahl was reenacted by the "Kon-Tiki" actors: urinating overboard in the open sea, dancing with natives under palms, portraits, and the like. Along with this, brief notes concerning each crew member's path of life after the trip are given. See more »

Alternate Versions

In an unusual technique, the film was shot simultaneously in both Norwegian and English, with each scene being filmed twice, first in Norwegian and then in English, with the same actors. This resulted in two versions of the film to be released, one primarily for the Norwegian domestic market, the other for an international audience. In a few cases, such as action scenes and computer-generated sequences, they used the same shot, later adding English with dubbing. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Oscars (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Flickan i Havanna
("The girl in Havana")
Lyrics by Evert Taube (as Taube) and music by Horatio R. Palmer (as Palmer)
See more »

User Reviews

 
Thrilling, Lavishly Mounted and Hugely Accessible
10 February 2013 | by Simon_Says_MoviesSee all my reviews

A nominee for Best Foreign Language Picture at this year's Oscars, Norwegian import Kon-Tiki chronicles the journey of adventurer Thor Heyerdahl and his incredible journey some 5,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean from Peru to Polynesia on a balsa wood raft. Though comparisons will inevitably be drawn between this film and Ang Lee's Life of Pi, a fellow Oscar nominee, they are very different beasts and are both films deserving of attention.

If nothing else, Kon-Tiki (the name of the aforementioned vessel) adds to the impressive list of superb films from Scandinavia this past year. From Headhunters (one of my favourites of 2012) to the overlooked Snabba cash (Easy Money), fare from this region has never been more accessible or memorable.

So now comes Kon-Tiki, the first Norwegian film to score both a nomination at the Golden Globe and Academy Award ceremonies, and it's rather easy to see why. This sweeping journey appeals squarely to Hollywood sensibilities, twisting up an epic, historical adventure about overcoming the odds, with human drama. Though this intentional slanting may take some of the complexity and grit out of the film in the end, praise is abundantly deserved for all those involved.

Chief on that list is filmmaking duo Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, best known previously for the Luc Besson-produced Bandidas with Penelope Cruz and Selma Hayek, who craft something lavish and visually sumptuous out of this trek, despite the hurdle of being endowed with a budget of just $16 million.

By recreating Heyerdahl's raft, shooting out over the deep and using special effects only as infrequent enhancements rather than a crutch, these two lay the authenticity on thick and in doing so generate tension and wonder (sometimes simultaneously) like you wouldn't imagine. Kon- Tiki, though never overtly stealing, mirrors the most effective aspects of films like Cast Away, Jaws and Mutiny on the Bounty.

When Rønning and Sandberg aren't capturing sweeping, stunning shots of the Pacific (and the tiny boat at its mercy) they are letting the camera rest on the diminutive aspects of the voyage, at least so when compared to the grandness of what's around them. The ropes lashing together the massive balsa wood beams strain and groan in the water, summoning us back to an earlier scene where two sailors warn Heyerdahl that a raft of that nature will inevitably break apart with the movement of the logs. Sharks silently circle and the boat slowly crumbles as the wood absorbs seawater. These quiet moments are as unnerving as anything you'll see on the big screen.

Likewise, there are grander, more elaborate moments that drip with tension all the same, as when storms hit, men are cast overboard, and once again sharks, though proving to be one of the lesser threats in the scheme of things, use their mythos alone to chill to the bone. If not as complex as it could have been, Kon-Tiki is certainly never dull.

The cast of unknown actors are also strong, even if by the time the credits role their sporting of Grizzly Adams-like beards makes identifying between some of these brave men difficult. Leading the way as the driven Heyerdahl is – wait for this one – Pål Sverre Valheim Hagen, anchoring (no pun intended) the film as a man intent on proving his settlement theory to sceptical scholars. Joining him is engineer (and refrigerator salesman) Herman Watzinger (Anders Baasmo Christiansen) navigator Erik Hesselberg (Odd Magnus Williamson) ethnographer Bengt Danielsson (Gustaf Skarsgård) and two soldiers acting as radio men Knut Haugland and Torstein Raaby (Tobias Santelmann and Jakob Oftebro respectively).

Together, crammed together like sardines, they make the 101-day journey, each bringing not only their respective skill-sets but demons as well. Those versed in Heyerdahl's novel or the documentary of the voyage (the winner of the 1950 Oscar for Best Documentary Feature) may cry afoul at some of the changes that have been made in service to crafting a more dramatic effort, particularly tweaks to the Watzinger character, but they will in no way impact how most will respond to Kon-Tiki.

Though not as weighty or viscerally lasting as some fare that pops up in the Best Foreign Language Film category, it is, however, infinitely accessible to anyone who usually turns their nose up at that particular segment of the ceremony. Kon-Tiki is a strong import, fascinating and thrilling in equal measure and a film that is just as much about the perils of nature as it is about the gratification that comes with conquering it.


25 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 85 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | Norway | Denmark | Germany | Sweden

Language:

Norwegian | English | French | Swedish

Release Date:

26 April 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kon-Tiki See more »

Filming Locations:

Maldives See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$16,600,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,168, 28 April 2013

Gross USA:

$1,517,410

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,842,887
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Your Next Binge Watch Awaits

Looking for something to watch? Check out IMDb's "What to Watch" series to find out what's really worth watching.



Recently Viewed