Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Matt Damon Gets Lost

Last night I watched a 2002 film called "Gerry". It was directed by Gus Van Sant and stars Matt Damon and Casey Affleck.

The story follows 2 friends, both named Gerry, who drive out to the desert for a walk on a "wilderness trail". After deciding to leave the trail to get away from "tourists", the pair get lost.

The two friends are unprepared in the extreme. Not only have they not brought their "10 essentials", they have absolutely nothing. No water, no food, no extra clothes, no flashlights, and certainly no map or compass to find their way out. Luckily, they are smokers so they have lighters to start a fire.

I was expecting a bit of an adventure story here. A psychological thriller about how getting lost affects your friendship, you state of mind and eventually your ability to function at all. What I got was a lot of slow, wide shots of ever-changing desert scenery and very little else.

There is ten minutes' worth of dialogue throughout the hour and a half of movie. The two spend most of their time aimlessly wandering, trying to decide whether they should be looking for the road or looking for water.
Anyone who has ever hiked in the desert will feel the tension of the situation. But if you're not a hiker, this movie has little to offer. It has no interesting story to tell, no insight into the human drama unfolding.
If you want to kill a couple of hours watching a compelling story about the wilderness - try Grizzly Man, the documentary about an out-of-work actor Timothy Treadwell, who goes to live among the bears in Alaska. It's worth watching for the train-wreck you can see coming from the very beginning.

3 comments:

andychilton said...

Wow, I've seen this film ... it truely is a non-event. Amazing what people can make.

Graybay said...

Grizzly Man is a tad disturbing to watch, esp. when you know whats coming.

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