“Land Ho!” (2014)
Colin (Paul Eenhoom) and Mitch (Earl Lynn Nelson) were brothers-in-law married to sisters. Mitch divorced his wife and Colin is a widower who recently broke up with his girlfriend. Mitch decided that the best thing to get them out of their rut is to take a trip to Iceland. Colin at first doesn’t want to go, especially because he can’t afford it, but Mitch is insistent, not only on the trip but that he is going to pay for everything.
So the guys’ takeoff for Iceland determined to have fun. Starting their adventure in Reykjavik they rent an SUV at the airport with the idea that they will be driving across the country. Their plan is to get further away from civilization as they drive. Along the way, they encounter many characters including two coeds, one who happens to be a cousin of Mitch. The girls join them for a fancy dinner and then dancing in a night club, where the men mostly watch. The night ends with one of the girls drinking too much and must be carried back to the hotel.
Mitch, a doctor, is the more outgoing of the two. With a big voice and a larger personality, he is always looking to flirt with a cute girl. He is willing to plan the trip and is up for almost anything. He is loud, quick with the crappy joke and is always looking for the next drink or a good meal. Colin, a retired banker originally from Australia, is more reserved . He is willing to go along on this adventure but sometimes is reluctant to blindly follow Mitch, who has a tendency to just jump in and go for it. The men make strange traveling companions, with Colin, being pulled along by Mitch’s impulsive ways, but both seem to enjoy each other’s company.
This film works because of the wonderful dialogue written by Arron Katz / Martha Stephens and the amazing chemistry between the two actors, Nelson and Eenhoom. The banter flows between to two like they have been friends for years, falling into a natural rapport. Nelson and Eenhoom are on screen together for almost the whole film and we delight in their conversations dealing with all the trials and tribulations that come with getting old. Both actors have an easy grace to them, delivering their lines in one long flowing conversation. This is not your normal Hollywood road trip movie as not much happens during their travels. The film isn’t about the destination, it is about two men enjoying themselves, traveling and talking about life, their past loves and even their regrets.
Cinematographer Andrew Reed perfectly captures the magnificence of the Icelandic countryside. There is shot after shot in this film that just takes your breath away as the two men travel across the country. You get why so many people want to visit this rugged, beautiful country and directors Katz / Stephens let us explore it with the two fellows. It would have been easy to make this into some sort of a faux documentary, but Katz / Stephens create a film that lets us travel with two friends to a country full of wonder, just pleased to be in each other’s company. It’s a quiet, easy-going film that explores aging without getting you down, making you happy to have been on the trip with two interesting individuals. My Rating: Full Price
My movie rating system from Best to Worst: 1). I Would Pay to See it Again 2). Full Price 3). Bargain Matinee 4). Cable 5). You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again
“Land Ho! is playing exclusively at Landmark Midtown Art Cinema
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