April 23, 2007

Pathfinder resembles 300, Apocalypto

Some quotes from the movie's reviews:This could be seen as a movie trend toward bloody historical fiction in the wake of "300," except for the slight difference that none of this ever happened. Then again, it's doubtful real Spartans had abs like the guys in "300," so who cares about history anyway? (Detroit News)

Since "300" set the gold standard for slow-motion, sword-wielding violence last month, "Pathfinder" must be shooting for silver or bronze or, well, you get the idea.

Although the picture looks great--in the same way that films like "300" look great--nicely framed shots of arrows piercing eyeballs and blood splattering the ground--it's difficult to get past the fact that not much happens during the 100-minute run. (Zanesville Times Recorder)

The oft-delayed actioner "Pathfinder" is like the dumbed down offspring of "300" and "Apocalypto."

And neither of those films fell anywhere near the genius category. (Washington Times)

Torture scenes (spears plunged into eyes and other organs, people whipped ferociously and hanged from trees) are reminiscent of Mel Gibson's Mayan epic, Apocalypto. (USA Today)

IT would be too easy to describe PATHFINDER (15) as simply a Viking version of Apocalypto. It would also be hugely unfair...to Apocalypto.

Whether the over-the-top blood-letting of Mel Gibson's Mayan adventure was to your taste or not, it is unquestionably a better movie.

Where Apocalypto felt vital and fresh, Pathfinder seems sluggish and obvious and unoriginal. (Muswell Hill Journal)

Think of it as "Apocalypto" with a northern twist.

As to whether the Vikings could beat the Persians from "300," well, you'll have to wait for the video game. (Daily Herald)

Like Apocalypto, Pathfinder is another pseudo-historical walk on the wild side, this time featuring a vaguely plausible (but completely unsubstantiated) encounter between ninth-century Vikings and Native Americans.

It’s very much like Apocalypto in that it boils down to one character playing cat-and-mouse through the forest with a band of barbarians, although eventually the nasty Norsemen take hostage Starfire (Moon Bloodgood, Eight Below), Ghost’s girlfriend, but at least she’s not useless shrieking baggage.

What I don’t like is that director Marcus Nispel (crafter of music videos for Janet Jackson, Amy Grant and others) has chosen a murky, grey-toned palette for his cinematography, as pervasive as the bronze-hued scheme for 300 and which, most of the time, just makes it hard to identify characters (although it helps obscure some pretty bad digital effects). (Columbia Free Times)
Comment:  I'm glad several reviewers noticed the resemblance between Pathfinder and 300 or Apocalypto. This resemblance was obvious from the Pathfinder trailer. Anyone who can "read" trailers would've noticed it.

In fact, the Columbia Free Times nailed it: Pathfinder has the plot of Apocalypto and the style of 300. So did the Washington Times, describing it as a cross between 300 and Apocalypto. Which is just what I said.

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