Keep on Walking
Some would call it a midlife crisis but for travel writer Bill Bryson (Robert Redford) his decision to hike 2,200 miles on the Appalachian Trail was more to do with his thirst for learning and experiencing new things. With his wife Catherine (Emma Thompson) not happy about him doing it let doing it alone he phones all his friends to see if any would accompany him, but as it turns out the one person he didn't call, Stephen Katz (Nick Nolte), ends up the guy who calls him to say he will do the walk with him. Unsurprisingly these to old friends have a few mishaps along the way and a few altercations as whilst Bill wants to do it as a sense of achievement and to learn things, Stephen is more interested in avoiding some time in prison as well as charming a lady or two.
Take two old friends whose lives have turned out differently, have them walk in the woods for a few days and what do you get. Well you get some humour as they bicker and their different personalities come out and you get some soul searching as not only do they experience the beauty of God's creation but they get to learn more about each other. And that in a nutshell is what you get in "A Walk in the Woods", a comedy adventure adapted from Bill Bryson's book. And whilst it is fun there is part of me which wonders whether they have taken the book and fitted it into a formula with some cliches as in truth I expected more.
The thing is that "A Walk in the Woods" is not bad and it does a nice job of not just the humour and soul searching aspects but the whole opening sets up the movie nicely showing Bill as becoming uneasy with life and what he is becoming. But from adventures with wild animals, annoying know it all hikers and Stephen not only acting uncouth charmer around women but swearing every other sentence it just feels like the writers of the screenplay have relied on the tried and tested to fill the movie with. I guess I simply expected something more, something maybe more profound and as that never really materialised I am left with a feeling of this being a little bit too generic.
What this all boils down to is that "A Walk in the Woods" is a pleasant enough distraction with some fun and some nice scenery. But for me the whole movie ends up a little too generic, filled with the sort of humour and adventure which has been done many times before.