After spending two decades in England, Bill Bryson (Robert Redford) returns to the U.S., where he decides the best way to connect with his homeland is to hike the Appalachian Trail with one of his oldest friends, Stephen Katz (Nick Nolte).
In this new comedy adventure, celebrated travel writer, Bill Bryson (Robert Redford), instead of retiring to enjoy his loving and beautiful wife, Catherine (Dame Emma Thompson), and large and happy family, challenges himself to hike the Appalachian Trail - two thousand two hundred miles of America's most unspoiled, spectacular and rugged countryside from Georgia to Maine. The peace and tranquility he hopes to find, though, is anything but, once he agrees to being accompanied by the only person he can find willing to join him on the trek - his long-lost and former friend Stephen Katz (Nick Nolte), a down-on-his-luck serial philanderer who, after a lifetime of relying on his charm and wits to keep one step ahead of the law - sees the trip as a way to sneak out of paying some debts and sneak into one last adventure before its too late. The trouble is, the two have a completely different definition of the word, "adventure". Now they're about to find out that when you push yourself to the ...Written by
Broad Green Pictures
Written by Blake Mills
Performed by Blake Mills
Courtesy of The Verve Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises See more »
I went to see this movie today, having read the original book by Bill Bryson and subsequently listened to a hilarious 'audio book' version narrated by Kerry Shale.
My first comment is that Robert Redford is just too old, way too old, for the part. By my estimate, Bill Bryson was less than 50 when he walked the trail with Katz, whereas Redford is 78. It made a big and substantial difference to my enjoyment of the movie, since a lot of the humour in the book comes from the fact that it's two middle-aged slightly overweight guys who start the walk, not two old men.
Furthermore, I found Emma Thompson's portrayal of Catherine Bryson simply irritating and humourless. Like Robert Redford, I felt she just turned up and did her lines.
Many of the best anecdotes from the book appear in the movie, and yet somehow none is anything like as funny as in the book/audio book. For example, the overweight nasal-sounding Mary Ellen segment just isn't as funny in the movie not least because the actress playing Mary Ellen is not overweight and therefore her jibe at Katz for being overweight misses the joke.
Overall, the movie was light and amusing in places, but bad casting and uncommitted acting makes it just average and with a heavy heart I rate it just 6/10. And trust me, I went in with fairly low expectations yet hoping for a good laugh. It was worse than I expected and not as funny as I'd hoped.
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