Thursday, June 23, 2016

999. Into the Wild

Into the Wild
Directed by Sean Penn

I didn't expect to enjoy this one.  Christopher McCandless, in my opinion, doesn't deserve his nearly mythical status.  I think his actions were fairly selfish, arrogant, and possibly suicidal.  I can't even imagine putting my family through the ordeal that he forced on them.  I also have never really romanticized the beatnik lifestyle, having found On The Road to be self indulgent.  Fortunately, this was more entertaining than I expected.

In 1990, McCandless graduated college with high honors.  He decides to abandon his family, destroy all of his credit cards and identification documents, and donate all his savings to Oxfam.  He hits the road, meeting many memorable characters along the way.  He finally ends up in the Alaskan wilderness and um...well, you know the rest.

It's the supporting characters that really make this film memorable, as I couldn't stand McCandless himself.  I also wasn't a huge fan of Penn's direction, which was wonky at best.  Still, there is no denying that this film looked beautiful.  Most importantly, 999!!!!

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

No stunt doubles were used for Emile Hirsch.


  1. Thank you. I can now not feel so alone in thinking this guy was an idiot .. and all the other things you said. I think all us Liberal eco alternative types are supposed to see him as a hero .. (Like that Grizzly man guy??), but no.. Thanks again..
    I mean, come on .. he finds and sleeps / lives in an abandoned bus .. This is supposed to be miles and miles out in the wilderness? So aliens picked up this bus from somewhere and transported it to where there are no roads, tracks etc? or, oh sorry, it was a special 6 wheel Land Rover bus? Right..
    My disagreement would you going as high as 3 stars...

    1. I am glad you agree; I was feeling like the only one too. I only gave it three stars because I wasn't watching the clock too much, but I suppose I should have gone lower.

  2. Usually I would find this kind of character insufferable but this film really did it for me. For me I saw him as a really deeply unhappy person who thought that it was his lifestyle that was creating his unhappiness. I think he saw what he did as his absolute only way of escaping and living a fulfilled life. He felt fundamentally trapped and I looked at it like basically he thought he was setting himself free by letting go of the past but he didn't realise he was not ok in himself. It is like when we dream of if we could only have this we would be happier...this one thing takes on a huge importance. It's like if we think if only we could move to this place, or get that job, we would be so much happier, but then we move there and are still unhappy. I see this film as a really extreme example of that. So basically I didn't see him as an idiot, just someone who was really lost and thought he had the answers. I really loved it, one of my favourites!

    1. That's so true. A lot of people look for external change in order to be happy, but really it is an internal battle. Good insight!

  3. OK, Ashley, thanks for the comments, and I will apologise for using the 'idiot' comment which was perhaps rather sweeping and insultive. He was obviously not an idiot in the real meaning of the word as he had done very well in his studies.
    Yes, your comments that he was .. what did you say ... " someone who was really lost", and " a really deeply unhappy person" were more accurate, more understanding than my rather knee jerk comments.
    BUT the way he went about things was ..seriously ill advised?
    May I be allowed to say his actions were rather idiotic, which is quite different to saying he was an idiot. The brightest people can do daft things especially when they believe they are acting from deep conviction. I will still stick with Amanda's statement he was rather arrogant and I'd add that he was perhaps rather self righteous that blinded him to any sort of grasp on reality.
    So thanks for the comment, and I again apologise.

    1. Oh yes...for sure...I definitely see where you're coming from. I think it is perfectly reasonable to come to the conclusion this guy is a bit of an idiot considering his actions to be honest haha! Usually I would be the first in the queue to roll my eyes about this kind of character but I just didn't and ended up with a different take on it to what I expected.