Kon-Tiki (Day 15)

Kon-TikiMY OPINION: 5.7 || This score seems a little low considering that I did enjoy the movie. It’s a pretty flat beginning that doesn’t do much to illuminate Heyerdal’s character or help us feel the genesis of his insights. It remains a fairly standard bio-pic until they set off on the raft and the adventure kicks in. The filmmakers make up for the pedestrian approach to drama by staging some excellent, gripping action sequences.

TITLE:  Kon-Tiki
DIRECTOR:  Joachim RønningEspen Sandberg
LANGUAGE: Norwegian | COUNTRY: Norway
YEAR: 2012
PROFILE: Adventure, Historical |118 minutes | IMDb (7.3)

SYNOPSIS (Courtesy of IMDb): The legendary explorer Thor Heyerdal’s epic 4,300 miles crossing of the Pacific on a balsa wood raft in 1947, to prove that this could have been done in pre-Columbian times for South Americans to settle in Polynesia.

Strengths and Weaknesses: Pål Sverre Valheim Hagen is a very handsome and charming actor. Spending time with him is a good experience, but we wind up understanding the quest better than we do the man. Everything is well enough explained, but there’s a difference between painting a vivid portrait and painting an insightful one. This is an even greater problem with the supporting characters. The actors all do a fine job, but for the most part we have little grasp of their own motivations for undertaking such an incredibly risky voyage.


Best Scenes: The storm that hits the Kon-Tiki on their fourth night is superbly filmed, with great sound design. Even more impressive, though, are later scenes that feature the sea life – beautiful and frightening – that they encounter. Dramatic and strikingly realistic.

File Under: survival, sailing, headstrong, nature, endurance