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-Pathfinder (R)

by Dr. D ~

20th Century Fox, April 13, 2007, Directed by: Marcus Nispel, 99 minutes. Cast: Karl Urban (Ghost), Russell Means (Pathfinder), Moon Bloodgood (Starfire), Clancy Brown (Gunnar), Jay Tavare (Blackwing), Nathaniel Arcand (Wind in Tree), Ralf Moeller (Ulfar), Burkely Duffield (Ghost at 12)


The movie is dark and dreary throughout. It is shot in what should be beautiful scenery, but the colors have been all but drained out through the digital remix of the film. The ‘R’ rating should be taken seriously for extreme violence.

The story should be interesting and the main character should be the stuff that legends are made out of.  However, the writing is such that we never gain the necessary emotional ties with the characters which would really bring this film alive.  One after another is gratuitously killed and the viewer has no reason for really caring a whole lot.

The Vikings are presented as one-dimensional characters- the personification of pure evil. One never really gets to know them or even wants to.  The story begins with a 12 year old Viking boy who is all that is left of a ship wreck. The near by Indians village takes him in and raises him, though he never is completely accepted by them nor is he really sure of who he really is.

As an adult, they call him ‘ghost’ because of his white appearance, but they do not allow him to participate in the rituals of the village braves.
15 years later, Vikings return with several ships to conquer the area. They burn the village and kill Ghost’s adoptive parents.  He goes on a rampage killing one Viking after another and gains the respect but enmity of his former people.

He finally connects with his love interest and her father who was the Indian leader (the pathfinder) while on the run battling and hiding from the Vikings.  He finally does prove himself at the end and is totally accepted by the surviving Indians.  There is a redeeming end to the story that almost makes it worth seeing. Actually, it does end well and you leave the theater in a celebratory mood.


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