Friday, April 27, 2007


RUNTIME: 99 min.

600 years before APOCALYPTO, there was, as legend goes, an even more stinking rubbish of a movie made by a director who just couldn’t realize what was the premise of the movie he was making nor he could find something called a script. It was called PATHFINDER and as the legend continues, was the most potent remedy for insomnia. Travis Bickle, try this legend. You would find more sleep and be less of a threat to Presidential candidates.
OFELAS/VEIVISEREN, the most famous of all Norwegian movies, nominated for the Academy Awards in 1988 under the best foreign language film is the victim here. After watching THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE remake in 2003, I would have never imagined that the director of that rubbish there would ever get his hands on the remake of a battle movie. But he obviously seems to have impressed someone because he managed to get the reins of this nonsense. For starters, what was wrong with the camera? I could see a couple of sequences directly lifted from LORD OF THE RINGS or was it the same sequences taken from a pirated DVD. For some inane artistic reason beyond my comprehension, he chose to go all grainy and murky. I had trouble recognizing who was who, all the time wondering if this is a pirated disc that is being shown. Believe me, the quality is that bad. On top of it, the visuals are so tacky even the Mila Jovovich starrer ULTRAVIOLET would feel proud of itself. There is an avalanche sequence right at the climax and audience members who were still awake managed more than a chuckle or two. Nispel is best suited to make horrible remakes of slasher movies; he feels absolutely out of place here. Why would anyone make a horror out of a battle movie, I would never know? And yes, just like his remake of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, this isn’t scary at all. Only blood flows everywhere and body parts fly, of course you would have trouble finding which part exactly was the object of attention here.
The movie is set in a time when America was yet to be discovered. I guess the makers have taken the time period too seriously because it seems even that thing we all know now as a script was yet to be discovered at that time. The central character is a Norwegian boy left by the Vikings on the shores of Americas and brought by the locals. But for some reason he’s called Ghost, I have no idea why. Fast-forward to 15 years and Ghost is consumed with revenge, again I have no idea why. Vikings come again to settle down in his new home and want to slaughter every local. Ghost wants to slaughter every Viking. Slaughter, growl, slaughter and everybody wants to slaughter. Why didn’t they kill each other at the end and slaughter the plans of sequel. I sincerely hope if ever there’s a sequel it goes straight to the Gaming Zone. Back to the story, if there’s one, Vikings want to slaughter. They find Village. Slaughter, slaughter, growl and more slaughter. Ghost sees them, stupid boy comes to them and fights, takes an eyeball. Then runs, there’s more running, running and more running punctuated with slaughter, slaughter and more slaughter. Then improvised intermission. Again slaughter. Somehow they grab hold of him and an elder who’s called the Pathfinder (Russell Means who seems to have found his path here from THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS). Now they have got hold of the Ghost, they change and want him to lead them to the next village, of course for more slaughter. Poor Vikings found their way to Americas but have trouble locating the next village. Again, walking, slaughtering, growling. Climax, avalanche and the end. I guess this here was more or less the script used by the filmmakers here. And the script is laced with dialogues like "There are two wolves fighting in every man's heart. One is love." No prizes for guessing which is the second. And yes my favorite, “Your daughter has become a woman.” Phew. Yeah amidst all that slaughter and all the growling, I forgot to mention one interesting thing. The locals speak in perfect English but the Vikings speak their local dialect, what was that I wouldn’t know.
Well the biggest name here is Karl Urban (THE BOURNE SUPREMACY) and he isn’t exactly Tom Cruise. And with script as above, even the best actors will have trouble finding their bearings. As was the case with KING ARTHUR, the supporting actors, the Vikings especially growl a lot, did somebody mention that growling is good. PATHFINDER is being compared to APOLCAYPTO, well watching this piece of junk here I could have been more forgiving on the latter. At least I knew what problems I had with it. With PATHFINDER, I have absolutely no problem apart from the singular one; please give me my money back. This movie is recommended for only one reason, if you have sleeping problems. Otherwise I find no reason for you venturing any place near it. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention the best part of the movie, the only party where you could gleefully munch your popcorn. They showed the trailers of SPIDERMAN 3, PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN: AT WORLD’S END and DIE HARD 4.0. Almost worth the price of the ticket.
Believe me, these pictures here are infinitely clearer than the actual one.

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