Pathfinder
Running shirtless in the snow doesn’t change the fact this movie sucks.

Theatrical Release Date: 04/13/2007
Director: Marcus Nispel
Cast: Karl Urban, Moon Bloodgood, Clancy Brown, Russell Means

The film “Pathfinder” is a depiction of the Vikings versus the Indians. How a football team would end up playing in Major League Baseball is beyond me but … I’m sorry, what? This is about the historical Vikings versus Native Americans? Well, okay.

So the plot here is that a Viking boy is stranded in North America after his father and his pillaging pals died just off the coast in their broken boat … how they died and the boy lived really doesn’t make much sense and is never explained but get used to feeling like you want more.

A Native American finds the boy and raises him as one of her own. Fast forward 15 years later and a new crop of Vikings have returned to clear the area of natives and settle here in North America, all “600 years before Columbus” … oooh, fancy.

Look, I’m not going to mince words or take too long here because the short and simple answer is that “Pathfinder” sucks.

The script is hilariously stupid, the character development is non-existent, the editing is poor, the acting is wooden at best and the special effect shots are fantastically cheap and poor (the avalanche we see cuts back and forth between stock footage that doesn’t match up and CGI that could be done on a Speak ‘n Spell).

God, I didn’t even mention the ridiculously awful sled fight where our hero is racing down a snowy hill on a shield while his Viking pursuers mystically appear with multiple sleds (although we only saw one available) and they duke it out on the move. Awful, just awful (but funny).

Then there’s the action. Surely, a film involving battles between a Viking raised by Native Americans (Karl Urban) and a whole clan of Vikings must be cool, right? Well, sort of.

Some of the sword battles are okay and the Vikings looked menacing but the director apparently had no money to spend on this film (or talent either) because almost everything that involves movement in the film is shot like a student film that didn’t have a crew or a budget. (Feeling like the 90-minute runtime was more like 2 hours doesn’t help either.)

What I mean is that most of the action shots are close ups where you don’t get a sense of scale and you can probably assume that way the action doesn’t have to be done right. You get a close up of one person swinging a sword and then a close up of someone being hit by a sword. No actual sword fighting necessary.

Actually, watching Urban lay traps for many of his Viking foes was a little like watching “Predator” as the Governator tries to outsmart his alien enemy. Not that “Pathfinder” is anywhere near as good as that but you get the idea.

I don’t want to beleaguer the point so let’s just wrap things up, shall we?

“Pathfinder” gets a 2 out of 5. If you want to have a good time laughing at the film and you like bad movies, then go ahead and check this out. If you’re looking for something good, go elsewhere – far, far elsewhere.