Ugh. Consider this the day that re-making graphic novels into movies died a slow painful death. We saw it coming with 300, which was satisfyingly gory, but ultimately vacant of meaning. Pathfinder, however, is just vacant.
The great white hope
Ugh. Consider this the day that re-making graphic novels into movies died a slow painful death. We saw it coming with 300, which was satisfyingly gory, but ultimately vacant of meaning. Pathfinder, however, is just vacant. It features overt racism, anemic writing, horrid acting and a complete lack of skill at moviemaking on all fronts. It really is unbelievable that this film even exists.
The plot is a tried and true cliche. After a Viking raid in which the Norse invaders kill an entire village, a lone young Viking is left behind. He is then raised by a Native American mother as her own son. She calls him “Ghost” (Do you get it? He’s white! How clever!) and 15 years later the Vikings return. They slaughter his whole village. Ghost (played by some dude named Karl Urban) is out hunting and vows vengeance against his Viking brethren. The rest of the film follows his slow war against the (other) white men.
A huge problem with Pathfinder is the way it depicts Native Americans. Throughout the film they are depicted as helpless, stupid or whimsical. Native people can say something more than animal metaphors! Plus, the whole scenario is a race-baiting cluster-fuck. Let me get this straight–the only white person fighting the Viking hordes is also the only one who is smart enough to defeat them. Nice.
The film itself is, as I mentioned before, poorly made. Bad lighting and a cheap, grainy quality dominate the visual feel of the film. For some reason blood is usually shown as black, with the entire color palette consisting of grays and blues and inescapable ugliness. Nothing about the visualization of Pathfinder has an artistic quality. It is just shit.
The acting is unspeakably useless as well. Considering that the entire script could have fit on maybe six pages of paper, one would think that a little more thought would have been put into the delivery. The writing switches between cheesy cliches and god-awful “meaning.”
The only people who will like this movie are idiots who thought 300 was “too talky.” Pathfinder has a high quotient of heads getting chopped off, but Jesus, give the audience some credit! Everyone should avoid seeing this film just on basic principle: don’t support bad filmmaking.