Classic Intel: Pathfinder - DVD Review

'in any other film the large dialogue-less segments would be brave and exciting, here you rather feel like they're there because the creators ran out of ideas'

One of the most incoherently edited films you're ever likely to see, Pathfinder fails on nearly every level due to a basic inability to tell its story in an approachable, succinct, way. The extended edition, which appears to only add in a meaningless eight minutes of blood and gore to push the age rating up, does nothing to address these problems rather just making them go on ad infinitum; a full one-hundred and seven minutes in fact, although it will feel much longer to all those who dare enter here.

The story, about a Viking warrior left behind to grow up with a tribe of Native Americans, is intriguing enough and the opening segment which attempts to tie the film into ancient myth and legend has its ideas in the right place. But from there Marcus Nispel's film sadly devolves into a scriptless mess which is less concerned with telling a story and more concerned with manufacturing occasional conflicts for our Viking/Native American warrior, Ghost (Karl Urban) to wander in to. In any other film the large dialogue-less segments would be brave and exciting, here you rather feel like they're there because the creators ran out of ideas.

Urban, who's much better than this, struggles to elevate the film. He grimaces and growls in the right places but there's no chemistry with any of the other stars and very few opportunities to play off them anyway. Moon Bloodgood provides the only real support of note but she seems distracted and comes off as largely unconvincing, stuck in a romantic plot arc that has no place in this narrative and is quickly dispensed with anyway by Nispel in favour of more shots of head-splitting with axes.

The Vikings doing the head-splitting are one of the few highlights. Their costumes are extraordinary, built up to make them look a number of feet bigger than the Native Americans, their helmets lending them an ethereal, ghostly feel which resembles The Lord Of The Rings' Wraiths.

Perhaps if this could have been moulded together in a more innovative way we would have at least had an average action film but in this cobbled together visage it resembles a student film outing where the student is obsessed with one-second cuts to the point of forgetting to write a full script. Nispel's next film is the Conan: The Barbarian remake, which looks very similar in terms of tone to this offering. Start worrying.




Look further...

'The experience of watching it ranged from being confused over the plot to flip flopping back to not really caring' - Movie Moxie

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