A Walk in the Woods review
In the days of scouts, hiking wasn’t just a part of the experience; it was expected in order to fully enjoy the camping trips. Luckily, I never had to hike for a long time, but my buddy who stayed on until he got his eagle had to endure some hard ones. He had to hike through part of the Sierra Nevada just to get his wilderness survival badge. I applaud him for this as I probably would have not made it out as well. I know I would have not died, but I probably would have been the first to complain, especially since they ran out of food when an animal got into one of the backpacks.
What makes these hike worth it isn’t necessarily the view (though it helps), but it’s having someone to tough it out with. The scouts were always good for that. Yet when it comes to the adult years, that’s when friends come in. My parents express enough that no one should have to hike alone for safety reasons. I agree, though more so just to be able to talk with someone else. Plenty of hiking movies like Into the Wild and The Wild have individuals who attempt a trek alone while A Walk in the Woods makes it a buddy road story.
Author Bill Bryson (played by Robert Redford) is still getting used to settling in to suburban New Hampshire even though he’s been living there for ten years. That’s because he’s written most of his work in Brittan where he’s lived for two decades. He’s a family man, happy with his wife Catherine (played by Emma Thompson), but a bit of an introvert as shown with his awkward presentation at a local funeral. While taking a stroll near the Appalachian Trail, he decides that he’d like to give the strenuous trip a try.
His wife does everything to talk him out of it, using news reports of deaths and missing people as a scare tactic. This fails to stop him from getting supplies and a new backpack to prepare for the trip. Catherine finally agrees under the condition that someone go with him. That person turns out to be an old friend Stephen Katz (played by Nick Nolte), who despite being overweight, insists that he’s in good enough shape to go. The two set off, about to deal with bad weather, annoying hikers and missing of comfortable beds.
Out of all the movies that I’ve seen Robert Redford participate in, A Walk in the Woods seems the most unlikely of story he would want to participate in. Unlike most of his cold political dramas he’s done (with the exception of a Marvel movie), this is more comedic and silly in tone. That’s not to say that A Walk in the Woods is a total comedy. It still feels like a charming story that Redford would participate in.
Does that make it a good movie? Probably not, as it feels like this movie should have been made years ago. Had it come out before the other slate of wilderness survival and hiking movies, I would have like it even more. But as it is, it’s fine.
Both Redford and Nolte are likable characters that you want to see to the end of the story. Their not troubled or searching for something deeper in life. Their simply on a hike. There’s nothing wrong with it if that’s what your looking for, but it’s certainly not as high brow as it was advertised. Still, I think this will please a lot of people that want something that’s likable if not lovable.
I’ll give this four maps of the Appalachian trail out of five. I’m glad I saw this. I just wished it were made sooner then 2015. I’m just grateful that Redford can still do these kind of movies at his age, so ill give the film credit for that. We need more Redford movies!