Friday, April 27, 2007

I Know Who I Am!

Pathfinder is a dismally bad film. This review contains spoilers but there isn't much to spoil.

Don't go and see it thinking the reviewers might just be a little pretentious and unwilling to enjoy an unashamedly fun film. Don't think, as I did, "surely a film with Vikings in it has to rock". It is truly bad. I am sufficiently open-minded to idiotic fun that I enjoyed Doom but found this an absolute chore.

It continues the Last of the Mohicans tradition of having the Native Americans win but only with the aid of a converted white guy. It is as if these films are trying to send the message "we don't think our culture is superior, but our bloodline clearly is". Rather politically incorrect which makes you wonder how Last of the Mohicans has become such an icon. I guess people missed the subtlety.

In the film Tomb Raider 2 Lara meets up with an African tribe who are going to help her. At that point I actually turned to the friend I was watching it with and said "we'll need a black guy to sacrifice in case anything goes wrong". Three seconds later they were all shot. Some films just seem to feel the need to address different races and cultures without the slightest idea of how to fit them into the story. It tends to end in hilariously unintentional breaches of political correctness. In this film it was a Native American army that managed to charge into a set of spikes their white guy (the hero) had set for the Vikings. Useless hippies.

The action is a bit lame preferring tepid setpieces to genuine trials of strength, cunning or valor. A particularly awful segment is the 'shield body-boarding' episode. What is strange is that the hero doesn't actually do anything but just sits there and gets lucky in not being planted into trees like the Vikings.

However, this film does have one redeeming quality. Its most absurd moment. The hero defeats the Viking chief by shouting "I Know Who I Am!" in Norse so loudly that he causes an avalanche which sweeps the poor Viking to his doom. Myself and a friend had driven to a cinema in another town to see this film and the entire ride back was spent shouting "I Know Who I Am!" at each other, the carpark and random strangers. Good times.


Anonymous said...

The first contact between Europeans and Native Americans did involved Vikings, but it occurred in Greenland rather than North America, and the Native Americans were the aggressors. Greenland, an alomost continent-size island, was uninhabited when the Vikings discovered it around AD 950. The Vikings built several settlements that flourished for around 200 years. But Native Americans crossed from North America and began attacking the Viking settlements around ADA 1150. After a few small but bloody skrimishes, the two sides settled down to a long stalemate, with the Native Americans living in the north of the island and the Vikings in the center and south. However, the Viking settlements began to decline during the "Little Ice Age." Historians are devided over whether bubonic plague or Native Americans killed the last of the Viking settlers.

Anonymous said...

Nice review! I thought this film was awful as well, and yes, the shield body-boarding scene was particularly dumb.