Kon Tiki Reviews
"Kon-Tiki" was an international co-production between Norway, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. It was the highest-grossing film of 2012 in Norway and the country's most expensive production to date. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards. It is Norway's fifth Academy Award nomination. The film was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 70th Golden Globe Awards. It is the first time a Norwegian film has been nominated for both an Oscar and a Golden Globe. Kon-Tiki opened in the United States on 26 April 2013 in a limited release, and was screened in three cinemas. On 3 May 2013, the film expanded to screen in fifty more cinemas and was a major box office success in its home country, Norway, and has since been gathering critical acclaim internationally. The Hollywood Reporter's Sheri Linden says of Kon-Tiki: "This retelling of a bare-bones enterprise by six men took a crew of hundreds, and the results are nothing if not polished, with handsome period detail and visual effects that are convincing, if sometimes ostentatious. The widescreen lensing (the film was shot mainly in and around Malta) doesn't overdo the sense of wonder and, with a strong assist from the sound design, conveys the men's vulnerability to the elements." Andrew Barker of Variety notes that some may take issue with the artistic license the filmmakers took in dramatizing some of the characters and events of the voyage, but describes the film overall as "a visually impeccable, professionally crafted modern vessel that lacks any of the patched-together soul of its subject." While Michael Nordine of LA Weekly laments that Kon-Tiki "could have used a bit more [shark-attracting] blood in the water", he concedes that the "crystal-clear waves are a sight to behold nevertheless." Rotten Tomatoes consensus is: "A well-crafted retelling of an epic true story, Kon-Tiki is a throwback to old-school adventure filmmaking that's exciting and entertaining in spite of its by-the-book plotting."
Thor Heyerdahl's account of his 1947 expedition across the Pacific on a balsa raft has captivated the imagination of generations and this great real life story has just been waiting to be put on the silverscreen. Directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg dramatisation of real life explorer Thor Heyerdahl's epic and legendary journey traveling nearly 5,000 miles from Peru to Polynesia in a wooden raft has its moments with impressive sets, environments and CGI. The cinematography is of high standard as well. Then again with that sort of budget you would expect it to be. However, the film has been done in such a comic way and style I personally think the story gets lost with a constant smirking Pål Sverre Valheim Hagen as Heyerdahl and the rest of the characters as they have been written as true stereotypes and their personalities are flatter than a wooden board. The screenplay written by Petter Skavlan and Allan Scott has been beefed up with all sorts of dramatic turns that didn´t happen and from what I have understood the Herman Watzinger character is not particularly accurate with how he was in real life. The directors' excuse for altering the facts is that the book lacked any dramatic tensions, so they had to manufacture some in a classic Hollywood way. They simply took an easy way out with the script and maybe hoped nobody would notice... "Kon-Tiki" is a colourful adventure, but not satisfying for me as it is more of a comedy than a drama it should be and what I expected it to be.
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.