Film review: A Walk In The Woods

Directed by Ken Kwapis

Based on the 1998 bestseller of the same name by Bill Bryson, A Walk In The Woods stars Robert Redford as Bryson, who decides to walk the Appalachian Trail on the east coast of America. Despite his wife Cynthia (Emma Thompson) telling him he is too old and unfit and reminding him of the dangers, he manages to gain her approval as long as he can find someone to accompany him. There enters Stephen Katz (Nick Nolte), an old friend of Bryson’s from his native Iowa who travelled with him in Europe when they were both in their twenties, but who he has lost touch with over the years and who, apparently, still has a drinking problem.

It’s enjoyable watching these two Hollywood legends hike and stumble together in the wilderness, developing their friendship in the face of a physical trial that seems too demanding at times for their age and condition – Redford is 79 and Nolte 74 – both considerably older than Bryson was when he hiked the trail himself. But they plough on determined, and you are right there with them, egging them on to continue their quest, despite all the difficulty – and being ridiculed by all the younger hikers they encounter on their trip.

A mix of dry and slapstick humour and beautiful scenery also keep your attention, and you are left at the end feeling that you are never too old to try anything – if you are determined and stubborn enough!

This review first appeared on


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