Directed by: Ken Kwapis
Starring: Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, Mary Steenburgen & Emma Thompson
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Strapline: “When you push yourself to the edge, the real fun begins”
In a nutshell:
Produced and starring Robert Redford, A Walk in the Woods sees the 79-year-old Hollywood legend return to the role of producer for the first time since 2012’s The Company You Keep. Released as a non-competitive film as part of Redford’s own Sundance Film Festival back in January of this year, A Walk in the Woods garnered mixed reviews from critics present.
I enjoyed A Walk in the Woods, a very funny comedy with great chemistry between its main stars. Both Redford and Nolte both have genuine comic timing and work well off each other. There is a good upbeat vibe throughout the film with some really funny moments, as a comedy it certainly succeeded.
Supporting Redford and Nolte is Emma Thompson as Redford’s wife who is, well, Emma Thompson, flawless at all she does. Mary Steenburgen also features but I was a little disappointed by the size of her role, boiling down to at best an extended cameo as a Motel owner who puts up the intrepid explorers en route.
The movie has an upbeat vibe as these grumpy old men make their way through the unforgiving Appalachian Trail. A high proportion of the jokes are aimed at old age and many, if not all, land well. Nolte especially shines as the bitter Katz, a little more no holds barred than his slightly more restrained companion.
Another star of the movie is the scenery itself, certainly greener than Everest, but a sight for sore eyes all the same. Although a comedy, A Walk in the Woods has as sobering of a feel as this year’s Wild with Reese Witherspoon. I must also make a mention of the movies soundtrack, it’s great with the inclusion of a nice mix of songs.
Just like any movie, Walk in the Woods is not without its issues. Given its source material, and the fact it tells the story of two retired men on a hike, the film has a fairly meandering pace. This is okay, but as a movie it lacks any edge to it, it’s simply a well acted gentle movie. Meanwhile, Nick Nolte is quite hard to understand which takes away from the story. I think it’s fair to say that A Walk in the Woods will prove more popular with older audiences, due to the age of its main stars and the reason behind many of the jokes and set pieces.