Starring: Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, Emma Thompson
Director: Ken Kwapis
Robert Redford is back on the big screen this week as he takes on the role of Bill Bryson in a big screen adaptation of his memoir A Walk In The Woods, which was released back in 1998.
A Walk in the Woods sees Redford team up with filmmaker Ken Kwapis for the first time as he returns to the director's chair for the first time since Big Miracle - he has brought us films such as The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants and He's Just Not That Into You during his career.
Upon his arrival back in the United States following two decades in the UK, Bryson wants to find a way to reconnect with his homeland. Impulsively he decides to hike a section of the longest continuous footpath in the world, The Appalachian Trail, 1000 arduous miles stretching from Maine to Georgia, an expedition men half his age struggle to complete.
Fearing for his life, his wife Cathy (Thompson) refuses to allow him to do a solo trek but is unsuccessful in persuading any of his friends to accompany him. When his old buddy Katz (Nolte), a crude, overweight, recovering alcoholic, calls him out of the blue and offers to accompany him, Bryson has no choice other than to accept. Thus begins an adventure as they encounter weird and wonderful characters and face hilarious trials and tribulations along the way. The men gamely persevere and together they learn that some roads are better left untraveled.
There's no denying that A Walk In The Woods is not going to be the best film that you see this year, but is a movie that is a lot of fun.
The main problem is the script, A Walk In The Woods does not capture the free style of the book and everything just feels a little contrived and fake - which is a real shame because the book is a terrific read.
Having said that, the central performances from Redford and Nolte are worth the entrance fee as they prove to be a great comedy duo. The interplay and the relationship between these two characters is a lot of fun and incredibly engaging.
It is this relationship and the journey that they go on together that really will keep you hooked, bring a smile to your face, and warm your heart. I do think that this film is having a bit of a hard time with the critics but it is a movie that could have been so much more.
A Walk In The Woods has been a passion project for Redford and he has spent many years trying to bring it to the big screen. However, something has sadly got lost along the way as the movie doesn't quite capture the observational humour of Bryson's book and there's a certain amount of wit missing as well.
There's no doubt that Redford is passionate and respectful of the source material but the adaptation from book to screenplay hasn't been a successful one. Rick Kerb and Bill Holderman took over the scriptwriting from Michael Arndt and this is a writing debut for both men - sadly, that shows. You have to wonder what kind of movie we would have been treated to if the script has been left to someone more experienced.
A Walk In The Woods is a movie that will make you laugh and the central performances from Redford and Nolte are solid you are left wondering what could have been when the credits roll.
A Walk In The Woods is out now.
Tagged in Robert Redford