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A pair of ex-brothers-in-law set off to Iceland in an attempt to reclaim their youth through Reykjavik nightclubs, trendy spas, and rugged campsites. This bawdy adventure is a throwback to 1980s road trip comedies, as well as a candid exploration of aging, loneliness, and friendship. Written by
At the risk of sounding like a codger who needs an Icelandic trip with a bud, I found Land Ho! underwhelming. The barren but beautiful Icelandic landscape is lovely to see, and the girls in hot springs are, well, hot, but the two ancient mariners, Mitch (Earl Lynn Nelson) and Colin (Paul Eenhorn), have little enough wit to sustain an entire journey, much less a full film.
Mitch (Earl Lynn Nelson), the wealthy surgeon, pays for the trip with his retired buddy, Colin (Paul Eenhoorn), that hits the popular spots, introduces them to some nice chicks with whom they have dinner, and lets them enjoy weed without conscience. As an elderly couple on the verge of existential renewal, Mitch is lively with a charming sense of humor and joie de vivre; Colin mostly broods about his divorce and lack of money. Except for a moment or two of philosophizing, it's small talk peppered with a few allusions to movies. So much for the realism, admirable but dull.
Coincidentally, I recently saw Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in The Trip to Italy, in which the two have a hilarious time impersonating actors and bandying about references to Byron and Shelley. Of course, even those travelers could not be that bright without rehearsal, even as natively-witted as they are. The joy I had was in the smart repartee and exhausting energy.
In Land Ho! co-directors Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens spark up the proceedings with some peppy '80's or 8o's-like music ( e.g., Big Country and Monster Party), which works well against the ancient landscape and men.
Land Ho!, however, moves at an old man's pace. The good thing for me is I'm able to recommend the film to my buddy, Keith, who is hot on our taking a trip to Iceland. Full disclosure: London is my favorite place on earth; Iceland would not rank.
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