Plot: What’s it about?
Before even Columbus landed on America’s shore, a band of Vikings arrived and sought to conquer the newfound area. A tribe of peaceful Indians managed to survive the onslaught, but a young Viking was left behind. The boy is taken in by the tribe and raised as one of their own, he would grow up and be known as Ghost (Karl Urban). When another Viking invasion arrives, the village is razed and Ghost narrowly escapes to another nearby tribe’s location. He tells the tribe about the invaders, their armor and weapons, and prepares to lead the natives against the incoming assault. But even with the home field advantage, can Ghost and the natives survive the brutal Viking attacks?
If you want a period epic with story depth, sweeping romance, and intelligence, Pathfinder might not be the best option. But if you just want some brutal battles and cool visuals, then you’re in the right place. The story is thin at best and seems present only to connect the action scenes, so don’t expect much plot wise. In truth, while I enjoyed the battles at first, I soon tired of them to an extent, because of the lack of motivation or reason involved. I love an all out battle, but put some thought into it so that we care about it all turns out. But as far as mindless action scenes of this kind are concerned, the ones here are well staged and fun to watch, which is good news. Pathfinder wants to be a sprawling epic, but falls short and settles for a sword & shield smackdown, but if you’re interested, this Blu-ray release is worth a rental.
Video: How does it look?
Pathfinder is presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen. This transfer replicates the film’s visual design quite well, with a much improved presentation over the standard release. The movie uses contrasting visual schemes, with a lot of earth tones at times, then more blue tinted night sequences. Regardless of what the visual tricks demanded, this transfer delivers and the movie’s graphic novel style really shines here. The print look flawless as well, which allows detail to be impressive and the visuals have a refined look, simply great work all around. While the movie itself is inconsistent, Pathfinder does have superb visuals and in this high definition transfer, those visuals sparkle.
Audio: How does it sound?
The audio is right up there with the visuals, thanks to an active lossless DTS HD 5.1 soundtrack that rarely relents. The entire duration of the movie seems active to some level, with various background noises and atmospheric touches. But the audio really kicks in during the battle scenes, which sound awesome here. The weapons clashing and wild action are bombastic, with deep bass and powerful surround presence. As I said though, almost all scenes have some kind of presence, so even outside the action, the soundtrack has a lot to offer. This disc also includes French and Spanish language tracks, as well as subtitles in English, Spanish, French, Cantonese, and Korean.
Supplements: What are the extras?
As far as supplements, all of the stuff from the standard edition is back, but don’t expect much substance. Marcus Nispel provides his director’s perspective via audio comments, which turns out to be fluff for the most part. He does discuss his role in the production, but glosses over the lesser elements, as expected. You can also watch a five part documentary that runs just over half an hour, but this is back patting from start to finish, with film clips spliced in. This disc also includes some deleted scenes, as well as the film’s theatrical trailer.