Pathfinder (R)

Action/Adventure 88 April 13th, 2007
By Jessica Grose
From beheading babies to gouging eyeballs, director Marcus Nispel continues the gory/lame tradition he began with his Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake in Pathfinder. Based very loosely on a 1987 Norwegian Viking drama of the same name, Pathfinder follows a Viking child -- the sole survivor of the original Norse journey to the new world -- who has been adopted by Native Americans and renamed Ghost. Fifteen years later, a second Viking ship arrives in America, and the hairy, fur-clad warriors are out for revenge. Killing indiscriminately with faces smeared in war paint, the one-dimensional Vikings are pure evil, while the Native Americans are pure benevolence. (Nispel loves his martyr imagery, even hanging the dead natives on crosses.) It's immediately clear that Ghost will heroically save his adoptive brethren and the day, leaving the repetitive and poorly lit battle scenes without tension. There is one redeeming skirmish -- the climactic fight involving a snowy cliff and an elaborate pulley system -- but from the guy who's directed videos for Cher, Amy Grant, Billy Joel, and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony? We expected more.
Marcus Nispel Karl Urban, Russell Means, Moon Bloodgood, Jay Tavare, Clancy Brown, Nathaniel Arcand, Ralf Moeller, Kevin Loring, Wayne Charles Baker, Burkely Duffield Laeta Kalogridis, Todd Komarnicki Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, Marcus Nispel 20th Century Fox