I’ll admit that I had never heard of Robert Redford until last years Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I really loved him in that movie though, just like everything else in it, but since this I’ve been told that Redford is actually a pretty famous and talented guy. So with my new found knowledge I went to see A Walk in the Woods which sees Redford and Nick Nolte attempt to walk the Appalachian Trail.
A Walk in the Woods is fairly slow to start and should have got to the actual hike a lot quicker than it did. However, when the characters get settled into their travels so do the audience, I was quite happy to go along with the maybe slower pace that was adopted here. With a film filled with hiking through wonderful scenery, alongside lakes and deep into snow covered woods you could be forgiven for thinking that there might be some breathtaking shots included. There is just that on many occasions, with one shot in particular being quite spectacular, you’ll know it when you see it. Unfortunately though, it seemed that for ever beautiful shot came a green screen or cheap set. These poor elements were noticeable more than a couple of times throughout the movie and really take you out of what should be an ascetically appealing experience. Although one thing that the film does get right are its hiking montages, these scenes were always done well. A carefully selected soundtrack made sure that the accompanying landscapes sparked an excitement and desire to get out there and find some adventure for yourself.
The film won’t have your sides splitting but there is most definitely humour here. The film is always amusing if nothing else, more interactions with strangers would have been welcome though creating more opportunities for comedy. The funniest moments always came when the pair meet an interesting character along the way. That’s not to say that Redford and Nolte don’t have chemistry but at the same time its nothing to write home about. Everyone performs well and even Nolte’s grumblings never become tiresome but I can’t help feel that there was wasted potential here. When you have the likes of Emma Thompson and Nick Offerman in a film its a real shame that the script just doesn’t give them anything much to do as they could have really enhanced the film.
So overall A Walk in the Woods is nothing too special or memorable, its a more lighthearted version of Wild from earlier in the year. You’ll laugh but there is also a high probability that your attention may flag a few times. It’s an easy watch perfect for a cheap day at the cinema but it never strives to be anything more than that, but thats ok, just don’t expect anything more!
Rating – 6/10