Marcus Nispel’s 2007 action adventure, Pathfinder is the story of a tribe of Native American Indians who are under threat from Viking marauders hell-bent on ‘cleansing’ the land of Indians before they settle.
The opening montage shows the brutal slaying of a tribe of Indians who literally throw themselves at the mercy of their annihilators, but, sadly for them, there is no mercy to be had. Cut to a beautiful scene of a Native American Indian woman, walking peacefully through the snow. Already the contrast between good and evil is apparent.
During her outing the woman stumbles upon an old wreckage of a ship and in this wreckage she finds many horrors; here bodies are thrown towards us quick and fast in an effort to give us some good jump-scares. Amongst all this horror she finds a young boy, who we later discover is a Viking, abandoned by his father for refusing to kill a young Indian boy. She takes the child home, and in spite of some concern from some of the members of the tribe who think this strange and pale looking boy must be evil, the woman and her husband raise him as their own. He is named Ghost on account of his pale features.
Jet forward 15 years and Ghost has grown in to a strapping and supposedly handsome young man played by Karl Urban (Doom, The Bourne Supremacy). One day while he is out hunting, his tribe are savagely attacked and destroyed. Orphaned for the second time, a distraught and angry Ghost seeks revenge. Whilst seeking this revenge he inadvertently leads the Vikings to a neighboring tribe, who include a highly respected man known as ‘The Pathfinder’, and his beautiful daughter Starfire (Moon Bloodgood). Lucky for this tribe, Ghost never stopped practicing the sword skills he learned as a child. Up against the huge Vikings with their superior weapons and their heavy armour, the tribe doesn’t seem to have a chance. Ghost tells them to flee, deciding to go it alone and kill as many as he can. When asked, “and what after?” he replies, “there will be no after.”
From here on out, we are treated to a whole load of action, and whilst Nispel chooses to shoot some of the fight scenes at such close range and with such low lighting, that at times it’s hard to see what is happening, generally, these fight scenes are pretty entertaining. There are some great moments; like the exciting chase scene down a snowy hillside with Ghost using his shield as a sledge — very James Bond! The treacherous crossing of the frozen river is another highlight. If you just want to see a good, entertaining action film, Pathfinder, is well worth watching. Don’t hold your breath for any brilliant dialogue though — there hardly is any dialogue — and what little there is couldn’t be more bland. The acting isn’t great either, and the characters are flat and uninteresting. Don’t expect too much, Pathfinder is a mind-numbing, knife-wielding action film; it’s brutal, savage, and a good bit of fun, although I have seen better.