Dir: Curt A. Sindelar and Michael Connor Humphries
Starring: Christopher Serrone, Michael Connor Humphries and Philip Delorenzo
Pathfinders catch is that it is based on an untold true story, set in WWII in Normandy June 1944. Sounds rather compelling, and that cover looks just gorgeous, so surely it has got to be good right? Well sadly this film isn’t what it set out to be, and it very much leans on the less than average side.
First off I need to give everyone involved in the making of this film major props. It certainly was an ambitious project and undertaking, and it was obvious while watching the film a lot of care was taken to make this grand and authentic. It boasts one of the largest sets constructed for an independent film, that fact alone is evidence that this had a lot of heart and feeling behind it. The sets and setting certainly are the strongest elements of this film, and perhaps too much care was taken here that the rest was simply forgotten about.
The issues this film has are very much seeded within the poor script, unconvincing dialogue which then led to unconvincing performances. The character interactions are unnatural and almost seemed forced when it came to bonding. There is little to no character development, and it was hard to care about anyone. In a film that takes place in WWII I needed to like and care for the characters, this had none of that and my investment faded within the first 20 minutes.
The way this film was shot felt like it was done by early high schoolers with no film knowledge. There is a crazy amount of facial close-ups for no apparent reason and I’d rather not see up the actors noses thank you. It frequently cuts to those close-ups and then backs away and then cuts back in. It became nauseating on several occasions, I struggle to understand the logic behind it. The cross cuts between long shot shots as well were poorly handled, they seemed overly colourful and when zoomed in the colour was faded and it was uneven. It became an eye sore, and at times it was difficult to watch.
This is an unbalanced film with good intentions, but good intentions do not make a good film. I could see the effort behind the film, and the story was an interesting one. However it was handled so poorly that the story really suffered, and it was hard to really care. There were times it felt like these people had not seen a good war film before, or even a good film. There was no sense of developing characters and story in a compelling and interesting way. The pacing was off and it dragged in places it shouldn’t have and it felt longer than its 90 minute running time. It had its heart in the right place, but it amounts to nothing more than something you might put on to fall asleep to.
The Australian DVD
The copy I reviewed is a screener, so there are no extra features aside from the films trailer.
Thanks to Bill at Gryphon Entertainment for the copy.