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Pathfinder
DVD disk
07.18.2007 By: Sturdy
Pathfinder order
Director:
Marcus Nispel

Actors:
Karl Urban
Russell Means
Clancy Brown

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A young Viking boy is stranded in North America 600 years before Columbus arrives. While there, an Indian woman finds him and takes him in as one of her own. There he lives for many years until the Vikings return and he must defend his new people against the people he once belonged to.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
There aren’t a whole lot of Viking movies these days and this is pretty much a reason why. I guess the Vikings are a hard people to portray in an interesting manner onscreen. They suffer from the same fate as dragons in that they seem interesting, but it’s hard to make a good movie about them. PATHFINDER has “CW TV show” written all over it and given how bad it was, they should be happy they even got a theatrical release.

PATHFINDER suffered from so many problems, but perhaps the biggest problem I had with the film was the editing. It was so choppy and hard to follow that there were entire scenes where the audience couldn’t tell where the characters were in relation to one another. This was mainly true when they entered the cave. This also made the fight scenes frustrating as you’re trying to follow each character’s actions, but never knowing for sure whom they’re fighting or if they’re winning. I’m sure some of the choppy editing was to make up for cheap sets or other budget constraints, but that would fall on the director for not planning the sequences better.

Of course, that implies that there’s a good movie somewhere in there, and that’s not the case. The inherit story of a Viking defending the Indians from other Vikings is pretty bad. You also have to wonder how one peaceful Viking/Indian could defeat dozens of bigger, more experienced Viking warriors. Things like that run rampant through this film and for such a simple plot, there are way too many holes.

Needless to say, the acting is atrocious. In fact, it’s so bad it almost hurts to watch it play out. It’s not like they had much to work with because the script is also extremely bad. So that covers the acting, directing, editing, settings and writing. As I was watching it, I tried hard to find something nice to say about it, but I couldn’t find anything. At one point, I thought we were going to get some gratuitous T&A, but they managed to screw that up too.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with Marcus Nispel: If he would have acknowledged at some point that this was a bad film, this commentary would have been great. Instead, it’s only average because at times he tends to take himself too seriously. With that in mind, he’s an interesting guy and I found this track pretty easy to listen to.

Deleted Scenes (10:16): Well, the movie was pretty awful and adding or subtracting ten minutes of scenes isn’t going to change that. These made no impact on me and didn’t alter the story at all.

The Featurettes (28:05): These are five featurettes that are broken up by type, covering the script, settings, costumes, stunts and the shooting of the film. There are a lot of movie clips sprinkled throughout and very little behind the scenes glimpses into the film. I liked the fact they didn’t use too much CGI, but they still seemed to take themselves too seriously at times.

We Shoot Now! (2:37): This is a quick featurette following a day on the set with Marcus Nispel. He seems to be very controlling and picky, but the actors appear to like him…at least on camera.

Clancy Brown: Cult Hero (2:39): This is a couple of minutes dedicated to the character actor Clancy Brown. To be honest, I had to look him up on IMDB to learn who he was and they never mentioned anything else he’d been in, but they all seem to think he’s a great actor.

There are also some Previews
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Basically, I have nothing nice to say about this film. I would love to tell you it has a campy “RED SONJA” fun quality, but it’s actually a depressing movie that’s not fun at all. So unless you’re a huge fan of the original Vikings, I wouldn’t even bother renting this one.
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