Sunday, January 11, 2015

'Wild' vs 'Taken': Intense

It wasn't perhaps my must-see film of the year, but I wanted to see it just in case it was inspiring. I was told that it would feature a girl who hiked 1,000 miles up the Pacific Coastal Trail. And that, as you know, is something right up my own alley. I thought of how eager I might be to go out and get me some boots and a backpack and be 'Wild'. So into theater #6 I went, while my husband saw the newest Taken movie instead (there must be at least 12 of those Taken movies by now, and I wanted to avoid the intensity. No one does intensity quite like Liam Neeson).

My movie, Wild, starred Reese Witherspoon as the hiker who hiked in order to punish herself for past sins. There were a LOT of those. We saw the gory details of each one, and of the sad development of her mother's cancer and subsequent (spoiler alert) death. That her mother died was truly sad. That the daughter went off all sorts of deep ends was even sadder. And depressing, to boot (perhaps they could have left at least some of that to our imaginations. I didn't want to know about what happens in dark alleys with waitresses behind restaurants).

You could sense the dangers right from the start. The opening scene shows Cheryl Strayed beginning her hike near the Mexican border, and that would be scary enough. But she accepts a ride to the border with a stranger - whom I immediately distrusted because everybody's mother says NOT to get into cars with strangers in them. In fact, mothers everywhere would have had ENORMOUS amounts of advice throughout this whole entire debacle (but - I really do think Cheryl would have ignored these mothers, however wise their advice).

She endured a LOT:

  • the effrontery of her bottled natural gas to be the WRONG KIND
  • the gynormous pack that probably weighed more than she did
  • the scary encounter with a rattlesnake along her dusty path
  • the dusk-time encounter with a human male out in the middle of absolute NOWHERE
  • boots that were so small for her feet that she threw them down the mountain and then regretted it and had to tape her sandals to her feet and walk 50 miles down the mountain in them
  • the encounter with 2 men in the middle of the isolated woods who knew she was alone and - isolated
  • snow, snow, snow
  • her one night stand with a stranger (mothers? any advice?)

I do adore walking many miles every day, and hearing about other walkers or hikers who do. But I would rather stay in a nicely populated area where nice humans are within reach, and a nice cell tower that can get me help in a pinch. Never mind all those dramatic encounters. I kind of wanted the movie to be over long before it actually was. For one thing, all of the men in this story were bad ones. Every last one of them. One had the feeling that even the snake was a man (BAD, of course).

In the end, I probably should have seen Taken, instead. At least it would have had one good man in it. I know it was intense, but the intensity is predictable and runs along a theme I can tie to: Man loves family. Man protects family. Man annihilates evil creeps who try to kill family. You see it? Predictable.

I do like Reese Witherspoon, and as soon as she goes back to being a little more Legally Blonde, I'll dash right on over to her theater. But as a weary wanderer whose flashbacks are harsh with heroin and bad men? 

I'll pass.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady


photo credit: <a href="">wvs</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

photo credit: <a href="">Patrick McEvoy-Halston</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

photo credit: <a href="">BagoGames</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

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