More than 15 years in the making, A Walk in the Woods is an entertaining and enjoyable film, if a formulaic one.
Adapted by Rick Kerb and Bill Holderman from the book by Bill Bryson, the story chronicles the decision by Bryson (played by Robert Redford) to hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. But veteran TV director Ken Kwapis (whose filmography includes such dross as The Beautician and the Beast and Licensed to Wed) doesn't trust the material enough not to infuse it with sit-com timing.
Make no mistake: Bryson's book is very funny, full of wonderful one-liners and caustic observations about everything from the U.S. Parks Service to the generally cavalier way most people treat wilderness areas and the creeping destruction of urban sprawl.
But the script returns time and again to the sit-com template: Look at these funny old guys struggling in the wilderness. Put a stream in front of them and you can bet they'll fall in.
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