“Pathfinder,” reviewed by Susan Granger
If you liked 300, theres more violence and bloodshed to be had in this brutal revenge thriller.
Apparently, at least 600 years before Columbus discovered America, the Vikings did.
These rampaging Norsemen raped, pillaged and slaughtered Native Americans in the idyllic New World. Somehow in the savage melee, a young boy was separated from his clan and adopted by sympathetic Wampanoags. Given the name Ghost because of his pale face, this hunter/warrior (Karl Urban) grows up loyal to his tribe, People of the Dawn, vowing revenge on the Viking invaders who stage massacre after massacre. Armed only with spears and arrows, the Indians put up a courageous fight. You must face the destiny of your past to know who you really are, Ghost is told.
Despite the fact that he not only has a sword but knows how to use it, Ghost is taken prisoner by the lumbering Vikings; hes not killed because they want him as their guide as they trudge from village to villages, fatally ignorant of the vagaries of spring weather. Why theyd trust him remains a mystery, particularly since hes lost none of his blood thirst, particularly when his native girl-friend (Moon Bloodgood) is in peril. The Vikings may richly deserve Ghosts treachery but audiences certainly deserve better these chaotic clichés.
Screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis and director Marcus Nispel (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) revel in grisly gore: macabre whippings, throats cut, limbs severed, spears plunging, reminiscent of Mel Gibsons Apocalypto. While veteran Native American actors like Russell Means, as a tribal chief, aim for authenticity, leather loincloth-clad Karl Urban evokes memories of Xena: Warrior Princess. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Pathfinder is testosterone-propelled 3. Whatever significance the legend had gets lost amid the repellent butchery.explore: