Movie Recommendation: Kon-Tiki (2012)

Quote from Kon-Tiki by Erik Hesselberg: “Maybe I should introduce you first. This is Thor. A pompous, self-centered weirdo, but a very good leader. And because he is, we are about to do what Tiki did 1500 years ago. We are going to…”


Executive Producers: Christopher Daniel, Lone Korslund, Marc Schmidheiny, Petter Skavlan, Johan Christopher Stenersen, Dario Suter, Peter Watson, Henrik Zein, and Harald Zwart

Directors: Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg

Writer: Petter Skavlan

Major Cast: Pål Sverre Hagenas as Thor Heyerdahl, Anders Baasmo Christiansen as Herman Watzinger, Tobias Santelmann as Knut Haugland, Gustaf Skarsgård as Bengt Danielsson, Odd-Magnus Williamson as Erik Hesselberg, Jakob Ofebro as Torstein Raaby, Agnes Kittelsen as Liv Heyerdahl, and Peter Wight as Herbert Spinden

MMPA Rating: PG-13 for a disturbing violent sequence

Running Time: 1 hour and 54 minutes (English) and 1 hour and 59 minutes (Norwegian)


Kon-Tiki is produced by Recorded Picture Company (RPC), Roenbergfilm, Nordisk Film Production, DCM Productions, Film i Väst, Falkun Films, and Stunt Bros.  It is based on the true story of Thor Heyerdahl and his Norwegian crew except Bengt Danielsson who was Swedish.  After hearing countless rejections that South Americans could possibly have sailed across the Pacific Ocean to the Polynesian islands, Heyerdahl gathers a crew of five and sets sail on their expedition in 1947 on a wooden raft they built. They plan to travel 4,300 miles from Peru to Polynesia although many think they will die along the way.  Heyerdahl names the raft, Kon-Tiki, after the Inca sun god.  There was a documentary by the same name made in 1951.  It supplements the movie and different running times can be found on YouTube.  I happened to watch the longer one, but the original was 1 hour and 17 minutes long.  It was the first Norwegian documentary to win an Oscar in 1952.  Heyerdahl also wrote a book about his expedition too.  There were creative liberties taken to increase the tension in the adaptation, but the cinematography remains the high point.  Many of the shots are amazing, and the interaction among the actors especially Pål Sverre Hagenas is captivating to watch.  I will say there was one scene that clearly strayed from the story and may have gone a bit overboard, but again creative license was taken.  Today, it is widely believed South Americans could not have settled on the Polynesian islands pre-Columbian times, but Heyerdahl’s expedition was a success in many ways.  The Kon-Tiki eventually crashed on the reefs outside Raroia.  It’s final resting place is at the Kon-Tiki Museum located in Olso, Norway.


Thor Heyerdahl

born 1914- died 2002 role was expedition leader

Herman Watzinger

born 1910- died 1986 role was engineer and data recorder

Knut Haugland

born 1917-died 2009 role was radio operator

Bengt Danielsson

born 1921-died 1997 role was steward and translator

Erik Hesselberg

born 1914-died 1972 role was navigator and artist

Torstein Raaby

born 1918-died 1964 role was radio operator

I rate Kon-Tiki NEAR PERFECT with Four Fingers and One Thumb at 96%



3 Comments on “Movie Recommendation: Kon-Tiki (2012)


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