Directors: Aaron Katz, Martha Stephens
Writers: Aaron Katz, Martha Stephens
Cast: Earl Lynn Nelson, Paul Eenhoorn, Daníel Gylfason, Þrúður Kristjánsdóttir, Karrie Crouse, Elizabeth McKee, Arnar Guðmundsson, Magnús Kr. Guðmundsson, Bjarni Tryggvason, Emmsjé Gauti, Benjamin Kasulke, Christina Jennings, Alice Olivia Clarke, Halldóra Guðjónsdóttir, Amy Yoder
Synopsis: A pair of former brothers-in-law embark on a road trip through Iceland.
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some language, sexual references and drug use |
8.8 / 10
- Cinematography was good
- A simple yet intriguing story that emphasizes more on character growth and interactions that makes it a rather unique character study.
- Soundtrack wasn't half bad
- Acting was solid
- Earl Lynn Nelson and Paul Eenhoorn have great chemistry together
- Earl Lynn Nelson adds the comedic timing this film needed
- Some of the scenes drag on longer than you'd expect them; hence you run into a lot of pacing issues throughout the film.
A film that shows that your never too old to enjoy life to it's fullest
"Land Ho!" may not be popular among most audiences, but it's fairly decent for what it tries to be. Like "Boyhood" that came out earlier this year, "Land Ho!" is essentially a story about nothing. It's basically just a day in the life of two elderly men that go on vacation together to have the time of their lives, in Iceland.
Both of them are retired, as they contemplate where to go with their lives considering they have no wives or girlfriends to speak of. Their kids are full grown, and they have moved on to raise a family of their own. Hence begs the question..where do they go from here? It's an interesting question to explore, and I like how subtle the film was in bringing it up.
Unlike most films, "Land Ho!" emphasizes more on the character interactions than the actual story itself. Allowing the audience to connect more with the characters on a personal level. Sadly, if you're not into films where it focuses on characters exchanging dialogue throughout most of the feature (i.e. "Before Sunset" for example), then chances are you probably won't like this film much either. However, it's actually a rather interesting adult comedy that's funny, but it doesn't feel the need to resort any low brow humor to entice it's audience.
I especially like the fact that you can't predict where the story is going to take you. Sure, the plot might seem a bit simplistic, but it's rare to find a movie where it can constantly keep you guessing on where the story could lead to.
The cinematography wasn't half bad, as some of the close up shots of the characters' faces whenever they spoke was a nice touch. The soundtrack to this wasn't bad either. Although, I wouldn't say it's the best that I've heard, but it's fairly decent.
The two main characters, Mitch (Earl Lynn Nelson) and Colin (Paul Eenhoorn), are reminiscent of the original "Odd Couple" in a lot of ways. They both have vastly different personalities, yet they're able to remain best friends. Colin is basically your run of the mill straight man, where he plays the calm and rational character that the audience is supposed to identify with. Mitch is essentially a dirty old man that wants to live life to the fullest, as he's not too shy about spending his own money to have a good time. Heck, Mitch even invites his own cousin, who is half his age, along with her friend, so him and Colin could flirt with them and have a good time.
Earl Lynn Nelson's sarcastic dry wit is funny, and it meshes well with Paul Eenhoorn's serious personality; which leads to quite a few comical moments throughout the film. Granted, we've seen this style of comedy play out before, where you have a straight man acting off an eccentric break out character in such films like "Men In Black", "Ride Along" and etc. However, the thing that makes "Land Ho!" different than most of those films is that it never feels the need to resort to same old Hollywood cliches to tell a story.
Mitch might be the eccentric character between the two, but he's never reduced to a generic stereotype, as there are moments where we see that even he has doubts about his own life as well. Both Mitch and Colin are portrayed as real characters that the audience grows to care about, as they go through real issues just like everyone else. And like everybody else, they too have moments where sometimes they just want to hang out and have a good time.
On the surface, "Land Ho!" seems like an interesting character study about two elderly men living out their days in retirement. However, it's also a comedy about life, and how it doesn't matter how old you are. No matter what troubles you may have that you shouldn't forget that you can always have fun, and live your life to the fullest.
However, that's not to say the film is perfect by any means, as "Land Ho!" suffers from a lot of pacing issues; where you have quite a few scenes that tend to drag on longer than they have to.
Apart from that minor issue, "Land Ho!" is definitely worth checking out if you're yearning to see an adult comedy that doesn't feel the need to resort to the same tired old tropes and cliches that Hollywood typically spoon feeds it's audience these days. However, if you're not into serious adult comedies, then I'd probably avoid this one altogether.
© 2014 Steven Escareno
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