A Walk in the Woods sees Robert Redford play real life travel writer, Bill Bryson, as he attempts to trek America’s Appalachian Trail.
Based on his book of the same name, we meet Bryson at a point in his life where it’s all about funerals, old age and illnesses. Deciding he wants to attempt the infamous Appalchian Trail – which Resse Witherspoon attempted earlier this year, in Wild – his wife agrees on the condition he takes somebody with him.
Enter a wheezy and creaky Nick Nolte as Stephen Katz, an old friend who has developed a drink habit in the intervening years. Together, the pair enter the wilderness for one last adventure together which, of course, turns into a journey of self-discovery.
It can take a while to settle into A Walk in the Woods. Initially, it appears to be playing to a much older demographic in order to capitalise on the success of films such as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Not only does it deal with similar themes of old age and mortality, but it also has an attractive, older cast with the likes of Redford, Nolte, Emma Thompson and Mary Steenburgen.
The moment Nolte’s Katz appears on screen though, the film gains an unexpected edge of bad language and almost-sexual encounters that could very well make for uncomfortable viewing, if you were to take your grandmother along.
Once you get past the film’s strange tone though – which can flit between sentimentality and sex references in an instant – A Walk in the Woods is an entertaining and sunny picture that strolls along at a nice pace.
There’s some genuine, big laughs littered throughout, which are generally derived from the relationship between Katz and Bryson, but the film is less successful in dealing with its themes of life and death.
That’s okay though, because the laughs, as well as the performances, make A Walk in the Woods an enjoyable little movie that will undoubtedly grow a bigger audience as time goes on.
Image credit to http://www.comingsoon.net