A Walk in the Woods (2015)

(Not so) Fun fact. I watched A Walk in the Woods because one does not simply pass a movie starring Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, and Emma Thompson, but also because I needed a film for a Thursday Movie Picks a while back, and by a while back I mean more than two years ago. As usual, I wrote the review, obviously picked the film for the series, and then forgot about it. So here it is, better late than never, right?

Anyways, the story follows travel writer Bill Bryson (Robert Redford), who instead of retiring and spending time with his loving wife, Catherine (Emma Thompson), decides to hike the Appalachian Trail with one of his oldest friends, Stephen Katz (Nick Nolte).

Despite it being based on a true story, the plot feels rather flat and lacks credibility — it's clear the filmmakers weren't able to transform the material into a story — and we barely know where it's going. It's hard to tell even after the film has ended.

The characters aren't that interesting either. They are just a bunch of weird and sometimes predictable and stereotyped people, among which Nick Nolte's stands out for being utterly annoying as he desperately tries to be a dramatic character. And the performances aren't much better.

Anyway, the real problem is another one. Given the title of the film and having a plot revolving around a hike of something like two thousand miles of track, one would expect the film to take place in the woods. Well, there couldn't be anything more wrong. In fact, most of the film takes place in diners, motels and laundromats, and when it takes place in the woods, it's nothing more than some mountain ledges and some truly awful green screen effects.

But there's still the comedy. Although it's stupid and falls flat most of the time, the film is able to make you laugh — more like chuckle actually — a few times mostly because of Redford's character cynical sarcasm. Ultimately, A Walk in the Woods is a mediocre, barely funny slapstick film that isn't worth watching unless you really love the actors involved. 

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