Abridged Classics: Pathfinder

Aug 5th, 2010 | By | Category: Prose

So, I while ago, I made an Abridged Classic for Pathfinder, an appalling example of racism in cinema, and also an appalling example of cinema.

And man, there was plenty to show you. Especially because writing about this movie just doesn’t do it justice.

It’s one thing to write, “The Native American characters are useless.” But it really doesn’t capture the true flavor of a director who said, “You know who needed saving by a white guy? Those Native Americans who let themselves get killed because they were a bunch of helpless whiners!”

And thus, Pathfinder was born. Because if there was anything that would have stopped that genocide, it was one white dude who Just Wanted to Belong.

And yet, even this picture of a tribe full of childlike, passive Native Americans cowering before the mighty sword of the white man doesn’t give the full effect. (Fun fact: this is the only promotional photo that even shows a Native American, so basically it’s a movie in which the Native Americans are only important to give Karl Urban something to save.) The full effect is that of slackjawed, creeping horror.

Luckily, it looks like we can’t blame this on Karl Urban. He’s giving us serious Hostage Eyes in this picture. (Oh, Karl, you had better have lost a bet or something. Seriously.)

There is some comfort, I guess, in knowing that the movie is shitty on every possible level, and is not simply a well-executed movie with weird racial undertones. This is the kind of movie where a blond, blue-eyed twelve-year-old can grow up to be Karl Urban.

This is the kind of movie where every line is delivered with all the portentous, ponderous clunking of a steel-tipped fortune cookie. This is the kind of movie where someone cuts someone’s eye out and we get a five-second close-up on the bloody eyeball rolling around in the mud!

This is the kind of movie where the bravest, most skilled warriors in the tribe are entirely wiped out because they fail to recognize one of Karl Urban’s traps – a trap that they would have had to teach Karl Urban how to make in the first place. A trap that Karl Urban somehow made overnight, despite the fact that it’s about ten feet by ten feet and in a wooded area far away from his cave hideout, and also he really doesn’t look like the Viking kid he was when they picked him up when he was twelve and where did he get the eye makeup and OH GOD, MOVIE, WHAT THE HELL.

While it takes the full two hours to really understand how horrible this movie is, I tried to get it in under the seven-minute mark.

And I did!

And then FOX took it down because they claimed it infringed on their copyright.

Now, this is not true, since I was very clear that I was using the clips for purposes of commentary under the policy of Fair Use. Therefore, I suspect that they are just super-embarrassed to have made this movie, which is understandable, because holy shit, you guys, you have no idea.

However, I didn’t want to leave you with nothing, so I storyboarded the movie for you instead. It’s not the same as seeing it play out in front of you, but you should get the general flavor of the film. Enjoy!

IN A WORLD…FULL OF NATIVE AMERICANS…

ONE VIKING…FEELS ALL ALONE…

JUDGED FOR HIS GENETIC PROWESS AT SWORD-WIELDING…

BUT WHEN THE VIKINGS COME…

ONE MAN…

…WILL CHOP THE SHIT OUT OF EVERY VIKING HE CAN GET HIS HANDS ON.

…THEN HE IS THE BOSS OF THE NATIVE AMERICANS, BECAUSE THAT IS HOW IT GOES WHENEVER A WHITE PERSON MAKES A MOVIE.

THE END

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Genevieve is a prolific writer of speculative fiction living¬†in New York, but you’ll never find her there because millions of people live there and Genevieve likes her privacy. Examples of her fiction can be found in Strange Horizons, Fantasy Magazine, Federations, and numerous other magazines and anthologies. Her first novel is forthcoming in 2011. Also? She has terrible taste in movies.

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