A Walk in the Woods movie review: ramble on and on

A Walk in the Woods yellow light

A sitcom about old men creaking along the Appalachian Trail, reminiscing about slutty girls, and maybe having a stroke at any moment. You know, for fun.
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

I have not read the source material

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Remember Wild, in which Reese Witherspoon hikes a demanding thousand-mile-long Pacific Coast trail because her life is a mess and she needs to recenter herself and find a way through all her many troubles to a new beginning? A Walk in the Woods is exactly like that… except it’s about a privileged old guy who has everything and whose life is in great shape but he’s feeling, you know, a little blah, so why not walk the entire Appalachian Trail? Robert Redford (Truth) is writer Bill Bryson, and he is joined on this “one last adventure” by an old pal, Stephen Katz, played by Nick Nolte (Return to Sender), who looks terrifyingly unhealthy, like he might burst an artery at any moment. Alarmingly, much of the humor here — for this is intended to be a comedy — tends toward “isn’t it hilarious how ominously near a stroke Katz might be?” when it isn’t about Katz pointing out how every misadventure they run into on the trail will be great in Bryson’s book about their hike, which prompts Bryson to testily snap that he’s not writing a book. (Note: this movie is based on Bryson’s book about their hike.) Mostly, this is a sitcom about creaky old men reminiscing about slutty girls they once knew, occasionally witnessing slutty girls in action (women who like sex are held up for comic ridicule here), and once in a while running out on nice ladies, like poor Mary Steenburgen’s (The Help) motel owner, for whom the guys leave behind damage and an unpaid bill. Charming. Oh, and, spoiler (not really): they quit the trail halfway through, having learned just about nothing at all.

See also my #WhereAreTheWomen rating of A Walk in the Woods for its representation of girls and women.

If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, please reconsider.
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