Old men walking
A Walk in the Woods
This mildly amusing little film is based on Bill Bryson’s book about the trek he and a friend took on the Appalachian Trail, but with the characters’ ages increased to match those of the movie’s stars, Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. Thus, A Walk in the Woods becomes in part a kind of docudrama about two aging actors playing themselves and doing standard-issue bits of grumpy-old-man comedy.
The screenplay sets up a few narrative lines on which to hang a series of semicomic episodes, with occasional pauses for Bryson-like ruminations.
Ken Kwapis’ direction is mostly uninspired; the wisecracking is glib and predictable, and only a little is gained from the briefly sparkling contributions of Emma Thompson (as Bryson’s wife), Mary Steenburgen (as a motel-based temptress), Kristen Schaal (as a very opinionated hiker), Nick Offerman (as a camping-gear salesman), and Susan McPhail (as a laundromat-based temptress).