Presented in what feels like eleven different shades of gray, Marcus Nispel's Pathfinder is a character study with no character, an adventure movie with very little adventure, and an action flick with alarmingly infrequent action scenes. Other than that, the thing's a bona-fide hoot for 96 straight minutes. Shallow, callow and mindless to a fault, the movie makes Zack Snyder's 300 feel like a model of restraint and cohesion. Keep in mind that I'm a guy who's always had a soft spot for big, dumb, period-piece action flicks -- but Pathfinder is just way too generic, way too obvious and way too stone-faced serious to warrant any enthusiasm.

Worst of all is the fact that Pathfinder contains just enough quality material to make you angry there's not more of it. But basically it's just another story about a noble warrior who wreaks holy mayhem after his village is ransacked by brutal villains. If you're a big fan of the "angry hero / ransacked village / revenge duly wreaked" movies, then you might find Pathfinder to be passable diversion on a rainy Saturday afternoon -- but the flick's about as funny by accident as it is grungy on purpose. While some of the film is visually captivating and (intermittently) exciting, it suffers mightily because of clumsy direction, over-caffeinated editing, and an overall pace that could be best described as ... convulsive.

categories Reviews, Cinematical