I saw Pathfinder with Shae and Kyle. We had all just had all the steak we could eat, which in my case was 30 ounces - one 12 ounce and three 6 ounce steaks. I also got a free salad and free fruit punch so I was in a pretty good mood. It was nice to see Shae actually eat and even though I didn't expect much from the movie I wanted to spend a little more time around her since it's been a while and she and Kyle are planning on moving into an apartment in a few weeks so they'll either get really serious or break up as a result. The movie was just as unimpressive as I expected and I expected it to be pretty unimpressive,
First, it was in a very small theater and even that small theater was quite sparsely seated. I was grimacing even before the movie started. It's not too bad in the beginning, native american (here forth referred to as "indian") chick finds wreck of a viking ship and there are all these bodies and a lone little white boy with a sword who she takes back to her tribe and the council allows her to raise as her own and then he has a nightmare about how he wouldn't kill a little baby so his viking father whips and I assume abandons him to return to europe in one of the other long boats. The story takes place in like 800 a.d. and the longboat seemed a little bit large with a little bit advanced technology on it to me but I haven't specifically looked it up yet.. Just a thought, though. So fifteen years later we see the happy village for a while and some other village nearby with some characters in it, whatever. Some chief, his daughter, and some brave who hardly ever talks but seems pretty bad ass and doesn't like our white protagonist guy. Then he goes into the woods with some 12 year old girl as her "protector" but she wanders off and gets killed by vikings and then the vikings go and kill everyone in our guy's village. They had a bunch of horses with them, too. As if I already didn't think that the longboats were inaccurately large, now they have all these horses. I actually didn't immediately realize that there were two villages and I thought they just killed every other indian character right there at the beginning. They had the leader of that village captive and were battling with him. They end up killing him right when our protagonist shows up and they stick a sword in the ground, "maybe he knows how to use one" and then when he doesn't immediately attack the leader tells some subordinate to take it from him before he hurts himself. This is about the coolest part of the film because he kicks the sword up into an upward slash and in the process flips the little divet of dirt right into the viking's face, distracting him long enough to score on the up slash and then brings it down right across his face, knocking his left eye out. The movie is pretty gory, but the special effects are pretty terrible. When he grabs a shield and runs away, the vikings are shooting arrows at him and the arrows flying around him look like total crap. They also dismember a lot of people in battle but again the computer graphics are pretty crappy. Same deal with lots of the blood sprays that they add. Maybe 300 has spoiled me for computer generated blood sprays.
So he's running from the vikings and then there's a (get this) sled chase scene. He goes down this hill on the shield and the vikings grab these sleds out of nowhere and start chasing him. Kyle said that the sleds were probably the indians sleds but if they like sledding so damn much they picked a pretty piss poor place to do it since at the end he goes sailing off a cliff and into this huge waterfall. There were a lot of scenes that reminded me of Predator and that was one of them. There are actually several scenes where they get wet and then immediately go into the cold winter weather. I guess indians and vikings are immune to hypothermia. That actually reminds me that apparently while these indians hadn't discovered how to forge metal they must have had bikini wax because our hero is once again hasn't a hair on his body. I can buy the indians looking like that but I'm pretty sure that vikings are hairy. Anyway, he stumbles along and finds our other-tribe characters wandering through a cave and tries to warn them then collapses. The chief's daughter is all over him and there's a little discussion and <i>right then</i> a bear decides to attack them. It kicks all their asses for a while but then the old chief calls out to the bear and just bows down like he's going to let the bear eat him. It charges at him but at the last moment he sets a spear and pikes that mother fucker. That's how an indian kills a bear. This was a pretty heavy handed bit of foreshadowing, the second in the movie. The first comes when our protagonist goes out on a frozen lake and we see a shot from under the ice of it cracking under his feet.
So they take him back to their vilage and give him some big medicine, fix him back up. Then they decide to abandon the village before the vikings get there because of the superior forged metal viking weaponry, which I can only assume there was probably a decent amount of on that wrecked boat from fifteen years before but nobody except our guy seems to have any interest in. He decides to go fight them. He immediately gets followed by this mute guy that only ever plays a flute. Then later we find out the chief's daughter has also gone to follow him and that prompts the stoioc brave to go after them too. It seems like the rest of the tribe is going to keep following the chief to the next village but later that seems not to be the case. Our protagonist guy sets up all these traps, again very much like Predator, and ambushes a bunch of vikings. He doesn't take their steel weapons or armor, though. Not even for that mute dude, which is a shame because there's this scene in a cave where a viking finds the chief's daughter and the mute tries to defend her with a sharp stick .Needless to say he ends up dead. Still, they manage to kill quite a few of the vikings one or two at a time for a while and that part was kind of like Seven Samurai which was pretty cool. Then there's this scene that again ruins everything (this is a recurring theme, the movie almost sucks me in for a minute then totally betrays my faith). Our protagonist just stands on this rock and presents himself to all the vikings, expecting that they'll charge him but there's this pit trap he's prepared in advance. He's got one of their heads, or at least their helmets and he's taunting them with it. The regulars want to charge but the viking leader is suspicious, something about it doesn't seem right to him and he orders them to hold. I don't know why, at this point, they don't just shoot him with those bows they were using like crazy when he was first running away but they don't. Probably to make the next ridiculous scene plausable. See, just at that moment again the stoic brave and a whole bunch of other indians, like pretty much the whole tribe comes out of nowhere, charge the vikings, and stupidly fall into the pit trap like total idiots. Then the vikings jump into the pit and start beating the shit out of them.
Then the protagonist guy and the chief's daughter are watching the vikings from a distance and they're torturing that stoic brave guy, roasting him over a fire. Our main man wants to go rescue him but the chief's daughter stops him from attacking, apparently they wouldn't stand a chance against all of them. Then an arrow comes out of nowhere and kills the brave and we see the chief is there with a bow. I guess it was better just to put him out of his misery for some reason instead of trying to rescue him even though firing that arrow attracted the vikings' attention and they end up getting captured anyway so I don't really know why they didn't try to rescue that dude. At least they killed some vikings before they went down. The chief, too. He demonstrated a few sweet old man skills. I would have liked to see more of that but they tied him in a tree attached to some horses and quartered him, which was pretty cool I guess. He gave our protagonist guy some sage advice about that whole bear thing. I guess the foreshadowing wasn't heavy handed enough for the director. Anyway, they only quartered him because they wouldn't show them where the next village was. Our white indian clams up and lets them quarter the chief but then they're just going to cut one of the chick's hands off and he caves, speaks to them in his native language and all that business. I guess it's better to be a hot chick than an old man.
Or maybe not, they try to rape her on the march but he protects her. Then he tries to tell them to go around the frozen lake but they decide to go across it anyway and a bunch of them fall through the ice including him. Yet another scene where people go from soaking wet right back into the snow and ice without any problem whatsoever. Then he leads them through this narrow mountain pass. He tells them they should all tie each other together so they don't fall or whatever. Strong vikings can catch one another, I'm sure right? So they don't want to do it until one of them falls to his death, then they do. The one who lost the eye is all like "He's leading us nowhere" but then he shows them the fires of the next village in the distance and tells the chick to hit him so she does and she's all kicking the crap out of him and the vikings are laughing at him until they smack that bitch. The leader tells him that he better straighten up if he wants to be a viking (I guess his daddy was a friend of this leader dude). So he unties her and tears the back of her clothes open and starts twirling this little thing like he's going to whip her but instead he throws it to the back of the line of vikings and knocks the last guy off the cliff. I guess vikings aren't as strong as all that because they just start falling off that damn mountain like dominoes. For a pugilistic people they don't seem to be very quick with the blades either or they could probably have cut those ropes before it came their turn to go down. So most of the vikings fall, but for some reason the leader and the number two dangle by themselves with the guy as a counterweight. He jumps off and over this tree to keep from being dragged down but then their dangling there side by side except there's two on the leader's side so he tells his second in command guy to climb up to him but he just grabs the knife out of his mouth and cuts him loose so he can climb back up. He's doing it too and he climbs all up there and starts throwing rocks at our guy while he tried to climb up and he's yelling all these insults at him but then he yells back so hard he starts an avalance. A <i>stock footage</i> avalance, to be specific. I can't believe they still use stock footage in moies. So anyway, this avalance comes and wipes out all the remaining vikings. Or so we think because after it the viking leader comes out of nowhere and he has to battle him and drop him off the cliff. Then he finds his chick and she goes to live with the other village and has a zillion babies and he watches the coast to make sure the vikings don't come back, burns their boats and what not. Then, thankfully, it's over. At least it's not very long, I'll say that for it.
So that's the movie. I just saved you ten bucks. You can thank me later. In conclusion, this is a bad movie but the kind of bad movie I can still somewhat enjoy. I think bad movies need to start embracing their crappiness from the very beginning. Like Snakes On A Plane. With that movie, you know what you're getting into from the start. This movie should have just been titled honestly like that, <i>Indians vs Vikings</i> and I think a lot more people would have gone to see it. At least it delivers that much, even if most of the indians are stupid enough to fall right into a pit.
That was a pretty good movie review. If I don't get called into work tomorrow, I'll probably clean up the language and submit it to the IMDB.