Combustible Celluloid
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With: Karl Urban, Russell Means, Moon Bloodgood, Jay Tavare, Clancy Brown
Written by: Laeta Kalogridis, based on a 1987 screenplay by Nils Gaup
Directed by: Marcus Nispel
MPAA Rating: R for strong brutal violence throughout
Running Time: 100
Date: 01/11/2007

Pathfinder (2007)

0 Stars

Viking Roast

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Like Beastmaster or Conan but without the wit or inspiration, Pathfinder is a clumsy, gory tale of a peaceful 10th century tribe that adopts an orphan. They raise him to manhood, and he becomes their white savior (Karl Urban). We also get an evil Viking tribe, a prophecy and a girl (Moon Bloodgood). Director Marcus Nispel films everything through an ugly gray fog, with jerky, muddled action, stilted storytelling and stupid jump-scares (borrowed from his feature debut, the equally awful The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake). His camera wrenches from one angle to the next without any sense of where it's supposed to be. Most Viking films at least manage some campy laughs, but not a frame of this clueless conservative fantasy is worth salvaging. Pathfinder

DVD Details: The 2007 DVD from Fox Searchlight adds about seven more minutes for an "Unrated" version, though I was unwilling to sit through it again to find out what the difference was. Director Nispel provides a commentary track, which may or may not provide its own entertainment, depending on your point of view. The DVD comes with two different English soundtrack mixes, plus French and Spanish, and optional Spanish and English subtitles. Other extras include featurettes, deleted scenes, the original "concept" trailer and the final theatrical trailer, plus trailers for more Fox Searchlight releases, all along the lines of the same "trash." If only it had a commentary track by the MST3K guys...

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