Celebrated travel writer William Bryson (Robert Redford) has been living in the United Stated for over the last decade. He is married to Catherine (Emma Thompson) they have two grown children and three grandchildren with one more on the way. He has a very stable life but upon a short walk in the woods after attending a friend’s funeral he sees a sign that reads Appalachian Trail, Georgia 1700 miles to the left and Maine 300 miles to the right. Soon Bill gets an itch to go on an adventure, leave New Hampshire and his family and hike the rugged and sometimes fierce Appalachian Trail. All he needs now is someone to go with yet all of his friends have an excuse not to join him. All other than the one person he did not intentionally call, an old so-called friend of forty years, Stephen Katz (Nick Nolte).
It wasn’t long before Katz, known to be a down on his luck alcoholic was on a flight from Iowa to New Hampshire to join Bill on this adventure of a lifetime. The next day they travel to Georgia where they will begin their hike to Maine. Both men have had their differences and both have a different definition of adventure but both have decided to take a leap of faith or more so a step at a time. Along the way they meet many hikers but one in particular that they decide to abandon or kill, Mary Ellen (Kristen Schaal) the hiker from hell, little miss know it all with words of insult rather than knowledge. Jeannie (Mary Steenburgen) a motel owner that tests Bill’s forty year marriage. Beulah (Susan McPhail) that takes Katz on a wild panty ride and almost gets him murdered. Two hiking saviors (Andrew Vogel and Derek Krantz) that happen to be in the right place at the right time helping the guys off a ledge.
Through a snow storm, the bunk house, wild animals and just good old fun, mishaps and conversation of what was and is in their lives these two men take the audience on a wild and at times very humorous hike across country over a span of several months. Yet in the end they realize what is important and after looking at one hundred million stars in our galaxy they now know just how small man is which includes them yet leading them into what could possibly be their next adventure.
I absolutely enjoyed this journey with them. At times it moves a little slow but overall it has great direction, superb writing, breath-taking photography and two men that are perfect on screen together. Redford is still as suave and sophisticated as can be, still owning the screen in every scene. Although Nolte takes the moments away from Redford for his humor and good old redneck ways. Thompson is a treat, Steenburgen looks good and Schaal is nicely cast as everyone’s potential nightmare in conversation and company. Overall I really enjoyed this adventure and think you will too with 3 paws out of 4 by Jon Patch.