This is not the original 1950 film doc from the expedition, but a dramatic re-creation of key highlights from it. The 1950 film is hard to get now and frankly, is of relatively poor quality, I found the hand-illustrated book much more fun as a child, and it led me to also read and enjoy Thor's follow-on work: "The RA Expeditions".
The 2010 film stars Pål Sverre Hagen as Thor Heyrdahl, and he reminds me of actor Ed Norton in a few scenes. The supporting cast works well as an ensemble, but individually, none stand out too much, but that's mostly due to the way the movie was scripted, centering just on Thor.
The film looks very nice, and gives a more or less authentic-looking view of the journey from Peru to polynesia on a balsa-log raft. Where it works best for me is in portraying the moments of natural wonder and terror that occurred to the crew along the way, as well as the humor of watching the most lubberly, whitest-looking guys ever, trying to sail a badly-built raft on the open ocean with little experience.
There's a pretty good shark scene in the film that feels naturalistic and the tension in it is well-constructed, avoiding too many cliché's.
This was not a huge box office success, since you know how it ends before you start, and the pace is rather leisurely. I did really like it, though, and my 20-year-old walked in on it halfway-in, and stayed for the rest, saying it wasn't something he'd go out looking to see, but he enjoyed it anyhow. That's probably the best praise I can give the film; that if you give it a chance, it will transport you, as the book did.
Oooo, I didn't realize this was available on home video, I wanted to see it in theaters when it was first getting released a while ago, abut it never played anywhere around me... Then I forgot it existed. I'll be checking this out in the near future!
It's not a roller-coaster ride... but I think it successfully evokes key moments from the book. It is a little revisionist in the interest of tightening-up the plot. But overall, I think you'll like it.