A Viking boy is left behind after his clan battles a Native American tribe. Raised within the tribe, he ultimately becomes their savior in a fight against the Norsemen.
Historically inaccurate with characters you don't care for and a story you've seen beat-for-beat before. But somebody give this damn costume department an Academy Award **immediately**! _Final rating:★★½ - Had a lot that appealed to me, didn’t quite work as a whole._
_**Great-looking action/adventure flick is dramatically weak and banal**_ Vikings come to North America hundreds of years before Columbus bringing death & destruction to the Beothuk people in what is now Newfoundland. One of the latter, Ghost (Karl Urban), is actually a Viking by blood, a survivor of a previous Viking expedition. I thought this was going to be some low-budget Syfy flick but, no, "Pathfinder" (2007) is a theatrical release with stellar production values. The first thing I noticed was that the director is Marcus Nispel, who went on to direct the 2011 version of "Conan the Barbarian." There are some glaring derivative bits sprinkled throughout, like Tarzan, "Conan the Barbarian" (1982), "Rambo 2," "Last of the Mohicans," and so forth. This isn't helped by forced lines, like the exchange about the two wolves within each individual. Clichéd bits like this CAN work, but they have to be better executed. The antagonists are the Vikings, who are depicted as comic booky inhuman monsters, whereas the natives are virtuous. This brings up the whole nature vs. nurture issue as Ghost is of Viking heritage but because he's brought up by the spiritual Beothuk people he isn't corrupted by the Vikings' ways. This suggests that evil or immorality is socially spread. Russell Means, who played Chingachgook in "Last of the Mohicans," is on hand as the elder Pathfinder. It's great to see him still truckin' along at almost seventy years old. The film was shot in British Columbia in mostly forest settings, but with occasional mountains that don't look much like the Northeast; some do though. Despite this flaw, "Pathfinder" is a visually striking film from beginning to end, and I don't just mean the scenery. Nispel knows how to make a spectacularly good-looking movie, that's for sure. In fact, it's so awe-inspiring it's worth the price of admission. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the story. Everything is here for a quality movie, but somehow the story just isn't all that captivating like "Last of the Mohicans" or the original "Conan the Barbarian," although it's serviceable. Some complain about the extreme violence but it's not necessarily a case of violence for the sake of violence as there are dramatic valleys to contrast the violent highs. Depth is hinted at, it just needed more. Meanwhile the overkill action sequences needed reigned in. The film runs 1 hour, 39 minutes. GRADE: C