Kon Tiki - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Kon Tiki Reviews

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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.
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!
Super Reviewer
½ January 16, 2013
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 also manages to be very tense.
Super Reviewer
April 9, 2014
A Norwegian explorer floats from South America to the Polynesian Islands.
There's no doubt that this is a harrowing journey and it could be a compelling story, but the film leaves much to be desired. The group of explorers is composed of virtually identical people, and while a few of the characters squabble, there isn't enough compelling conflict between them to keep this film from falling into a second act lull. What is more, the inciting action of the film implies that the central conflict calls into question Thor's blind and foolhardy determination, but this conflict isn't explored or realized. Rather, Thor is proved correct and his determination is supported almost uncritically in the film's non-ironic up ending.
Overall, while the subject is good, the film is not.
Super Reviewer
November 30, 2013
Real adventure has no limits.

Excellent Film! This is the most expensive Norwegian film production ever, and the story is a Norwegian sacred explorers story, as good as they come, changing world history. Thankfully the film floats as good as the raft, and is well worth a watch. Great manuscript, beautifully filmed, good handcraft.

Kon-Tiki is such a delight to watch, because it's original, different and not your typical Hollywood adventure flick. No, the plot is not complex. It has no twists or turns, and Kon-Tiki certainly doesn't contain the amount of drama you'd expect. And this is what makes it good - the film is all about the sheer excitement of the adventure. Of course it isn't perfect, but for a Norwegian film, I'd say it holds its ground rather strongly. Go see it!

Legendary explorer Thor Heyerdal's epic 4,300-mile crossing of the Pacific on a balsawood raft in 1947, in an effort prove that it was possible for South Americans to settle in Polynesia in pre-Columbian times.
Super Reviewer
April 8, 2013
Interesting part of history I had missed.
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.
Super Reviewer
½ August 29, 2013
Even if the (mostly invented for some reason) human conflict is uninteresting, the rest of the film is visually beautiful and full of harrowing stuff. Its been awhile since we had a movie with a great shark attack sequence . . . and boy is this one terrifying.
Super Reviewer
May 18, 2013
When I found out that this film was a film nominated for an academy award for Foreign film about a true story of an explorer's (who could not even swim) epic crossing of the Pacific on a balsa wood raft in 1947, i thought it would be at least dramatic if not intense. Instead I felt completely disengaged and completely bored by the whole experience. And if it wasn't for a moment of the film where the camera pans up all the way to space and back to the raft, I would have classed it as completely uninteresting. The production is good but this hardly qualifies for a good film.
Super Reviewer
½ February 2, 2013
A masterfully crafted adventure film, "Kon-Tiki" elaborates off the true story and Academy Award winning documentary about a man bent on proving his theory that in pre-Columbian time, South Americans could have sailed to Polynesia on wooden rafts and settled there. A highly unpopular theory and what most people thought would be a death sentenced equates to a highly entertaining and effective expedition. With impressive visuals and graphics throughout the entire film, including sharks and whales that rival that of "Life Of PI", and a completely convincing and powerful performance from Pål Sverre Valheim Hagen as Thor Heyerdahl, "Kon-Tiki" is not only Norway's most expensive film ever, it is also Norway's highest grossing film of 2012, and easily one of my favorite foreign films of the year.
Super Reviewer
December 1, 2015
Great (and true) adventure, mixed with some beautiful photography.
December 3, 2014
A visually breathtaking epic about nature, adventure, and survival. And in the end to know that it's a true story makes it special somehow.
½ August 28, 2013
Finely acted, wisely told, emotionally intimate and at times raw, yet profoundly insightful.
Brings the book alive, condenses it, and puts you on the raft. All this to prove his theory about tides, currents, and where the Polynesian ppl originated.
Breath-taking imagery here with jaw-dropping, seamless cgi.
A worthy effort, well done.

4.5 out of 5 Shark-flavored Tiki drinks
½ June 4, 2014
What a gloriously beautiful movie this is! One of those rare films that still has the ability to make me wonder, "How did they do that?!"
My Hollywood-loving American side desperately wants this movie to have a happier ending but I'll never knock a film for embracing reality and letting us know how a man could find fulfillment in one of his loves while losing another.
I definitely waited too long to watch this and odds are you have to. Get on it.
May 23, 2014
great movie. well filmed. taught me about a historical event that I would not known about otherwise
½ April 20, 2014
Rarely will I ever say a movie should have had a longer runtime but that is the case with the fantastic Kon Tiki. Based on the true story of a group of 6 men who set sail on a small wooden raft to prove that Polynesians originated from Peru and not Asia, Kon Tiki has brilliant cinematography and enough suspense to entertain but a stronger bond with the characters could have gone a long way to making this one of the best films of the year. Still Kon Tiki is a beautiful film that didn't receive the credit it so rightly deserves.
½ February 21, 2014
Well worth the watch for a bit of history I knew nothing about.....good acting.story and good visuals,overall good movie.
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