Reel Shorts | Pathfinder

13 04 2007

Hollywood’s re-imagining of history continues with the release of the action-adventure film, “Pathfinder.” Unfortunately for the filmmakers, this overlong, cliché-ridden story is no “300,” But “Braveheart-lite.”

Karl Urban stars as a young Nordic boy who is left behind during the plundering and pillaging of a Native American village. Found by a young Indian mother and raised as one of their own, Ghost (the filmmakers give no clue what the character’s name is until the credits roll at the end) has the blood of the sadistic Vikings, but the heart and compassion of his adopted people.

Fast forward 15 years and Ghost is full-grown with aspirations of becoming a “brave.” When a visiting tribe arrives in his village, he is denied a seat with fellow Indians and sent away. Ghost must prove himself worthy to his tribe and to himself. While away at a hunting expedition, the Vikings return and destroy his tribe and his village. Teaming with the chief of the neighboring tribe, Pathfinder (Russell Means), and his attractive daughter, Starfire (Moon Bloodgood), Ghost must find a way to avenge his family and destroy the Vikings.

The success (or failure) of “Pathfinder” hangs on the performance of Urban. Audiences know him primarily from “The Lord of the Rings” franchise, “The Bourne Identity” and “The Chronicles of Riddick.” He renders an uninspired performance in this forgettable National Geographic-style tale.”

“Pathfinder” offends on several levels, beginning with its length. The film labors far too long for such a simple story. Ripping off “The New World” and “Apocalypto” (as well as the sword-throw in “Braveheart”), viewers may also feel a sense of déjà vu when watching the story.

Ultimately, the story arrives at its predictable conclusion, proving once again that in a desire to give audiences a new experience, filmmakers continue to tramp the same, tired beaten “path.”

Grade: D

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