Looking for a movie filled with adventure, turmoil, and a few easy-on-the-eyes Norwegians? Look no further than the movie Kon-Tiki.
As always, Saturday Selections is when I give a little shout out to something I’ve enjoyed over the past week to hopefully encourage my wonderful readers to give that something a chance. This week wasn’t the first time I’ve watched Kon-Tiki, but I did watch it again a few days ago and it struck me just how entertaining a movie it is (the attractive, shirtless Norwegians like Pal Svere Hagen may have some influence on that opinion though).
First off, this review is for the 2012 “fiction” version of Kon-Tiki. There is also a documentary version from 1950 (which I haven’t seen) and, of course, a book about the adventure (which is quite good).
Kon-Tiki tells the tale of Thor Heyerdahl’s crazy need to prove to the scientific world that Polynesia was settled not by Asian peoples, but by South American people who used the Pacific currents. With a pile of research Thor tries to convince people to publish his findings. He is told that, despite his work in the field, his research has no practical basis because no one living has ever seen someone drift across the ocean in nothing more than a primitive raft.
Although frustrated, Thor, not being one to back down from his beliefs and always on the lookout for an adventure, gathers his friends to join him to prove the scientists and publishers wrong. Through some charm and persistence, Heyerdahl manages to get the Peruvian government to fund him, builds a balsa wood raft, and they set sail.
At sea they encounter many troubles ranging from sharks that just won’t go away (possibly because they accidentally ate the shark repellent), a radio that won’t work, their drifting into a dangerous current rather than the calm one that would take them to Polynesia, crew members bickering, a raft that is rotting and falling apart, and Thor’s obsessive refusal to give in.
Predictable? Not Entirely.
Since Thor Heyerdahl ended up creating a documentary film and writing a book about his 1947 adventure, you obviously know he’s not going to die on this voyage. However, you can’t be certain what will happen to the crew or whether they will actually make it. After all, it’s a bunch of inexperienced men on a hunk of balsa wood in the middle of the biggest ocean on the planet!
There’s plenty of tension amongst the crew, plenty of danger, and plenty of gorgeous scenery (besides the shirtless Norwegians) to keep Kon-Tiki from ever feeling dull even in the doldrums.
If you’re looking for a great movie on the high seas, skip the latest Pirates of the Caribbean and find a copy of Kon-Tiki instead!