A Walk in the Woods
Directed by Ken Kwapls
Written by Rick Kerb and Bill Holderman
Starring: Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, Kristen Schaal, Nick Offerman, Mary Steenburgen, and Emma Thompson
After living in England for many years, a writer (Redford) returns to his native America. He believes that the best way to get back to his roots is to hike through the Appalachian Trial, despite his age.
The most interesting part of A Walk in the Woods is that the story is very much a coming of age type of story for the two elderly men. Redford’s character in the film is a travel writer, who had just published a boxed set of his famous works and had not written anything new in some time. As the movie progresses, the Appalachian Trial serves as a metaphor for always having new experiences at any point in life. Between having written only forwards for books for the past couple of decades of his life and attending the funeral of his friend. Redford’s character feels like he needs something out of life, to somehow recapture his youthful vigor. Undertaking this journey has him realize that nothing is over until you decide that it is over. Redford and Nolte were great in the film and had excellent chemistry. The film centers on their relationship with one another, and if they did not deliver the quality of performances they did the movie would not work. The film is also funny and full of witty dialog, which makes the movie a fun watch.
A Walk in the Woods while it contains strong character relationships, it lacks tension and conflict. The plot of the film has no driving action to lead to conflict or raise tension between the two characters. The most the movie gives you in terms of conflict is some minor squabbles, which are too quickly resolved to create tension. The biggest flaw in A Walk in the Woods would have to be how underutilized the supporting cast is. None of the supporting characters is given a lot to do in the movie, and they are underdeveloped. There are a couple of support characters that could have led to interesting subplots that raised the conflict and tension in the film. However, they are left only as throw away parts in the movie.
A Walk in the Woods is an excellent story about two elderly men who reconnect and find themselves in the wilderness, but the film lacks any conflict. Therefore, it is most likely a walk some would rather avoid. A Walk in the Woods receives 3/5.