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Into the Wild (2007)

Your great adventure on Alaska.

Rating: 9/10

Running Time: 148 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15


Alienated by a money-obsessed American suburbia and angry with a set of none-too-perfect parents (Hurt and Harden) Middle-Class Christopher ‘Supertramp’ McCandless (Hirsch) gave away all his savings, left all he knew behind and set out travelling across America as a virtual tramp. Along the way he hitchiked through the desert, canoed down hundreds of miles of river to Mexico and worked as a farmhand,  but more importantly, he met a series of characters who shaped his life. His final destination was Alaska, a place where he felt he could get back to nature, but he also found it to be an unforgiving environment.

Christopher’s numerous encounters on his journey seem to strengthen his resolve to reach his goal and show his generous and intelligent nature maturing. Into the Wild was a remarkable big screen debut for Hirsch and he really does impress both with his acting and his physical dedication to the ever-changing appearance of McCandless. The story is expertly told by three interweaving strands – a backstory, his adventures in a chronological fashion and his final months living in a bus in Alaska. A great backstory device is using Carine (Malone), Christopher’s sister, as a secondary narrator. This explains why Christopher is so adamant to get away but also shows that it’s not all fun and games and shows the hurt that his parents go through.

The film is narrated by Christopher, who provides a staunchly anti-Capitalist tirade. At times the narrative is a little too pretentious, whiny and invasive and could have been limited a little in favour of more of the easy-going folksy soundtrack that perfectly compliments the striking onscreen visuals. However, Director Sean Penn, does skilfully manage to rein in the political subtext and concentrate on his remarkable journey instead. Overall, Christopher’s adventure is treated with such poignancy and a mixture of the heartwarming and heartrending that you will finish the film with a sense of witnesseing something remarkable and profound.

It's Got: Glorious cinematography, a great big adventure, an impressive debut performance.

It Needs: More music and less narration.

DVD Extras A few feturettes - not really enough for a two disc special. DVD Extras Rating: 4/10


Lavish cinematography, interesting characters and a great big adventure will leave you with a feeling of seeing something special.