All scenery, no plot.
D. McFee | FL, USA | 03/15/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I had no expectations for this film. I found it only by searching the keyword 'travel' in Netflix. I am, however, thoroughly surprised by all the positive reviews. The film locations are awesome, but the story is poor at best.
First, it starts with the retelling of an urban legend. You know the one: where the groom gets everyone to look under their chairs, and they pull out an incriminating picture of the bride. Not original at all.
Second, although the story is supposed to be one of self discovery, it has no flow, no real purpose. It jumps around so much that the main premise is not developed properly.
Third, the acting is shocking. Mind you they don't have much to work with.
Fourth, it is completely unrealistic, and gives an unrealistic version of travel. For example, the main character gets robbed when he first arrives in Nicaragua, but finds solace in a threesome with two gorgeous Dutch backpackers. On what planet do the hot women outnumber the guys at a hostel?
I can only assume that this film appeals to young men who want to believe that a dork with no world experience can travel unabated, despite having no money, and can always get the girl."
Amature Film Not Saved by Exotic Film Locations
Brian Allen | Manistee, MI USA | 11/10/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I am surprised at the very positive reviews given above for this film. I had been hesitant at renting the film as there were no positive reviews on the DVD cover as usual if a film has been very positively reviewed or has won awards at any of a number of film festivals that have multiplied around the world (Most companies would surely advertise any positive review on the DVD cover).
I rented the DVD as it looked interesting and was about one area that I had traveled in (Darien, Panama) and two that I would like to visit (Nicaragua and Peru). I also thought it couldn't be that bad to watch a film set in the warm colorful tropics while suffering through another dreary cold Michigan weekend.
The film had it's moments but they were very few and far between. I enjoyed the shots of Kuna villages in Panama, the overflight of what seemed to be authentic views of the rugged Darien province of Panama and of course who would not enjoy seeing footage of Machu Pichu and the Andes of Peru.
The Plot was choppy and loosely connected. The main character ditches his bride at the wedding alter and leaves for Central America. There is no character development to help you see what led up to this action or to share any joy in his dramatic flight from his situation. There are several scenes that are almost funny about how difficult it is to have a working shower in Nicaragua and some nudity thrown in to try to keep the viewers interest I imagine.
Off to the Darien in Panama for a record breaking attempt at crossing the roadless jungle with a jeep and a group of young adventurers. Sounds exciting but somehow they made it seem dull. There were moments as I mentioned above but mostly the film moved slowly with lots of machete chops, some lame heroic rescues of the jeep topped off by a very silly and improbable encounter with the leader of the FARC guerrilla movement from Columbia. My wife had long since stopped watching to go read a book but I continued hoping for at least some more scenery or perhaps some saving dialogue.
The filming of Machu Pichu was gorgeous but I would bet anyone with equipment set up there couldn't fail to impress if they tried. The film ends up travelogue/romance with a somewhat abrupt ending that was at least a little funny but did not resurrect my opinion. I admire the film-makers choice of a novel setting away from American suburbia but left feeling that I had just watched an amateur film supported by someone's rich uncle that didn't care about the quality of the product.
Conner Layne's successful running away from his life?
R. Bagula | Lakeside, Ca United States | 02/22/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The grunge of the jungle and the new woman in his life
do not get him back into his life,
but pull him further away.
He must have gone back in some way to get his book published,
but he reminds one of Hemingway who was always
somewhere away from himself?
The romance of far away places can't get you a real life
no matter how good you get at it?
I liked the film, but I have reservations."