Kon Tiki - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Kon Tiki Reviews

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January 6, 2017
24.08.2012,
06,01,2017
December 30, 2016
A charming film, with some nice scenery and likeable characters. It isn't as exciting as a fictional adventure film might be, but the fact that it is based on a true story makes what DOES happen all the more interesting. I'm interested to learn more about this story - a sign of a good docudrama. The cast, led by Pal Sverre Hagen, is strong and the performances understated, with much told with the eyes. An enjoyable film for a lazy afternoon.
Super Reviewer
½ December 5, 2016
An engaging odyssey with a stunning cinematography that uses an appropriately large depth of field to explore the vastness of the high sea. Also, the characters are complex and well defined in their motivations, in a story that manages to be quite tense.
½ November 2, 2016
A good straight forward film of adventure and endurance
October 29, 2016
More interesting than entertaining
Super Reviewer
October 8, 2016
While the actual science of this real life adventure remains questionable, the Viking/Nordic spirit behind it all sings like the call of the sirens (insert Wagner's RIde of the Valkeries theme here): "let's go sail the Pacific Ocean on a raft, cause I think some of our ancient ancestors did!" Once on the ocean however the enormity of the undertaking sinks home and the tension escalates accordingly. A fine cinematic how-do-you-do all in all.
½ September 24, 2016
When all the hope seems to fade & nothing is going as expected, wait for the fate to decide. Belief is the key & it was nothing but a belief that took those guys across the sea. Hail TiKi.
September 22, 2016
Kon-Tiki is a flawed movie owing to its too ordinary approach to storytelling, but the film succeeds as such a wonderfully traditional and spirited adventure flick with excellent direction from its talented directors, tight editing, a well crafted plot, great attention to detail and absolutely gorgeous visuals.
½ July 18, 2016
I'll forgive the poor casting and over-acting to give it a "pretty good effort" score. One question lingers however; how does one have blonde hair with dark roots after 100 days on a raft in the Pacific?
May 26, 2016
Generally entertaining, though I could've done without the bizarre shark feeding frenzy. Made me want to watch Heyerdahl's original documentary on the expedition.
Super Reviewer
½ March 27, 2016
Beautifully filmed adventure movie about Heyerdahl and his crew crossing the pacific on a raft after WW2. While the enterprise itself goes relatively smoothly there is a wonderfully terrifying shark attack in the middle of the film that's worth the movie already. Especially the camera work and direction are excellent, the script could have used some refining here or there. Heyerdahl is portrayed as oddly arrogant protagonist. Still, a nice film. No wonder the directors are now moving on to Pirates of the Caribbean. Great choice.
February 15, 2016
As a Norwegian film, it is underrated. A true story on an important subject, that is today taken for granted in the modern 'Google Earth' era. This is a good depiction of Thor Heyerdahl's 1947 adventure across the Pacific to prove that it was South Americans, not Asians, who first populated Polynesia.

The true story of the adventurer's obsession to prove a theory is portrayed excellently, in this well-acted and written film, with terrific cinematography. I highly recommend it as a history lesson and good foreign cinema.
Super Reviewer
February 7, 2016
After the eponymous expedition of Thor Heyerdahl over the Pacific to prove the then theory that the first to populate Polynesia were from South America, Kon-Tiki (2012, Norway) is a grand historical production of mesmerizing thrilling beauty and dangers of the ocean. With perfect blue cinematography and stylized dramatization, Kon-Tiki satisfies the human curiosity for knowledge and adventure. Ambitious 10!
½ December 31, 2015
Beautifully written and filmed movie, just a bit slow and not much happens.
December 7, 2015
A long journey with not a hole lot happening , they leave and they came on there desteny . fine
Super Reviewer
December 1, 2015
Great (and true) adventure, mixed with some beautiful photography.
½ November 11, 2015
Directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, the film is based on actual events dramatized on the 1947 Kon-Tiki expedition. The 2012 film became Norway's most expensive production to date, and has yielded notable accolades, including highest-grossing film for that year in Norway, and Best Foreign Language Film nominations at the Oscars and Golden Globes.
First told in the Oscar-winning 1951 documentary, Kon-Tiki retells the story of Thor Heyerdahl's most famous expedition: drifting 5,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean on a balsa-wood raft to prove that it was possible for pre-Columbian South Americans to take an ocean passage to Polynesia. Finally had the opportunity to catch this film, and I am impressed. The film opens with trenchant childhood prologue of young Heyerdahl, ignoring his friends and crashing into a frozen lake, nearly drowning himself in the frigid waters. A brief glimpse but rather important in establishing to us that Heyerdahl is a man who is a risk-taker. The story quickly fast-forward to Polynesia in 1937, where grown up Heyerdahl (Pål Sverre Valheim Hagen) develops a theory that these "South Sea Islands" were not originally discovered by Asians 1,500 years ago but by South American Incas, guided to their destination by the god Tiki. Met with a series of harsh rejections and ridicule to publish his theory, which only further fueled his relentless endeavor, the iron-willed explorer sets out to convince the skeptics by building his own raft without proper funds, using the Incas' original primitive methods and material, and recruiting 5 other men for his hundred-day journey.
As we already know that the protagonist survives at the end, it did not stop directors Rønning and Sandberg from recreating a riveting and emotional adventure of the 6-men crew, as we witness their perilous journey paddling through merciless storms, close encounters with a whale and sharks. Though some may argue that the film is projected in a rather old-fashioned manner, with lesser sensationalized action, peaks and twists; I find it rather apt as we are brought back to this amazing voyage which took place nearly 70 years ago. For what's lacking in action, Rønning and Sandberg cleverly make up for it by focusing more on the drama that takes place on the raft. Although the film dwells a bit more on the drama than the documentary, the directors' decision to make it a psychological drama stemmed from their research that there were indeed disagreements and drama that took place. And thank goodness for that decision. It makes the film all the more staggering to watch, a handsomely-mounted human drama. The casts are on point, especially lead Hagen. His crew members are Erik Hesselberg (Odd Magnus Williamson), Knut Haugland (Tobias Santelmann), Herman Watzinger (Anders Baasmo Christiansen), Torstein Raaby (Jakob Oftebro) Bengt Danielsson (Gustaf Skarsgård).
Replete with breathtaking Pacific panoramas scenes, Kon-Tiki is captivating for its visuals alone. The storytelling however is equally solid, too, all adding up to a fitting tribute to the inspiring triumphant achievement by the legendary Thor Heyerdahl.
October 19, 2015
Great movie. Can't believe it's based on a true story.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
August 24, 2015
In "Kon-Tiki," Thor Heyerdahl(Pal Sverre Hagen), an ethnographer, is vacationing with his wife Liv(Agnes Kittelsen) in the South Pacific when he has a brainstorm. Basically, it concerns the fact that the Polynesians must have emigrated from South America, not the other way around which is the currently held wisdom in 1947. The challenge as far as Heyerdahl is concerned is proving it. Which involves building a boat identical to the ones the Polynesians would have traveled in at the time of their voyage. That's easier said than done, as he when he tries to raise funds in New York City at the National Geographic where they are tempted to refer him to Bellevue Hospital. Luckily, he meets Herman Watzinger(Anders Baasmo Christiansen), an engineer, who shows him the error of his ways.

With a judicious use of CGI, "Kon-Tiki" is a great looking dramatization of the famed ocean voyage. The problem lies in the movie's length. It's not that the movie is too long; rather for once it is not long enough.(The running time on the DVD I watched was one hour, thirty-eight minutes, 20 minutes shorter than the theatrical running time.) So, while the movie focuses on the bigger, more suspenseful moments(nothing against sharks, by the way), it otherwise feels rushed. Instead, the pace should have been leisurely, allowing the story to take its time to unfold in detailing this epic voyage which does not really feel epic here.
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