(Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg)
PG, 118 minutes - Norwegian
Pål Sverre Hagen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Gustaf Skarsgård
The top-notch adventure tale “Kon-Tiki” is an old-fashioned entertainment, complete with a lead who physically recalls Peter O’Toole in “Lawrence of Arabia.”
In the years following World War II, Norwegian scientist and writer Thor Heyerdahl (Pål Sverre Hagen) seeks a project to make his name as an explorer . To determine that Polynesia was settled by Peruvian travelers, Heyerdahl builds a raft true to the ones pre-Columbian wayfarers used some 1,500 years earlier.
With his crew of five, Heyerdahl braves the South Seas for more than 100 days. Heat, storms and sharks test them — and the balsa-wood craft only had a radio transmitter and hand-cranked generator for modern equipment. But as directors Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg show, Heyerdahl’s team of Swedes and Norwegians met the challenge and made history. They also set the stage for future exploration, a spirit that arguably led all the way to the modern era’s space program.
Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News