Saturday, January 27, 2007

movie review: Pathfinder

Official website:

Pathfinder: The poster looks great, the trailer looked interesting (Don't most trailers look nice? They're meant to be nice right?). However, the actual movie didn't meet my expectation at all. Not even near.

Before I could watch the movie, I have heard negative feedbacks from the others. Those who told me that the movie wasn't nice were almost all female movie goers. Only a handful have had better return, citing that the movie was okay, not too bad.

So, I decided to go for this instead of The Guardian, starring Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Costner, partially because my cousin had got the DVD.

You can get the official synopsis from the official website - here.

Pathfinder's time set 600 years before Columbus set foot to America. At that time, Vikings set shore to the land of America, and tried conquering the land. Then, there was a boy being left behind by his own kind. Despite his lineage, the Indians (the Dawn clan) raised the boy.

The story started there 15 years after the Viking first raided the Indians in the land.

Vikings, also known as the Dragons by the Dawn, are portrayed to brutal and savage. They staged barbaric raid in attempt to settle in this new found land. Live by sword, and die by sword, that is what they believe in. They are born to be warriors.

The Scandinavian were naturally bigger in the physical size, and are equipped with proper armor and weapons. The Indians on the other hand, equipped with only wooden spears and knives, were no match to the Vikings in head-to-head battle.

Pathfinder lacks emotion, and chemistry. It may be clear where this movie may lead to - rage, vengeance and brutality, but it never reached that level.

When the Vikings raided the first village in their return 15 years later, Ghost (played by Karl Urban) had their family and whole tribe wiped off in a massacre. Here comes a scene which was supposed to feel the empathy for our hero, who just had his whole adopted family including his young sister. But, you just don't feel the sadness. The music score and the screen play couldn't bring out the emotion to the audience. I hardly felt a thing there. Neither you could feel the rage, fear, love or hatred. Nothing.

I know the movie is categorized as action-adventure, but it was really bad that the whole movie was over-dominated by action scenes only. You see more sword-swinging than people talking throughout the movie. Even when they speak, most of their speech are merely one liner. Nothing more. When they do speak more than two lines, we don't understand their language, and had to read the subtitles instead. The Vikings talked more!

The movie's saturation was reduced in the whole movie-length in attempt to create the post-winter, or spring feel. Whole movie is pretty dull in color, and it's boring. The only movie which had success in shooting the whole featured in about 70% saturation was Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan. That was truly and exception. A classic!

Overall, I wouldn't recommend you guys to watch it in the cinema, especially in Malaysian cinema. The movie was made to be brutal, hence under firing shots from Malaysian censorship board's uzi. Many scenes were censored off. It's quite a disappointment for myself. The movie could have been better.

Verdict: 6.5 / 10

" End Note: Lead Actor Karl Urban was featured in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy as nephew of Theoden from Rohan, Eomer; I couldn't remember Karl's character name until the credit shows in the end; In Pathfinder, the Vikings are portrayed to be brutal, savage, cruel and silly (referring to the iced-lake scene). "

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