A good old time in Land Ho! | Film Review | Indy Week
Pin It

A good old time in Land Ho! 

Paul Eenhoorn as Colin in Land Ho!

Photo by Andrew Reed /Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics

Paul Eenhoorn as Colin in Land Ho!

As a rule, movies are dominated by the young. So LAND HO!, a gentle Icelandic import about the adventures of two 70-something men on an impromptu walkabout, is refreshing.

This isn't a grumpy-old-men farce playing age for laughs. It's a genuine, observant, character-driven comedy.

Mitch (Earl Lynn Nelson) and Colin (Paul Eenhoorn) are old friends and ex-brothers-in-law—they married two sisters, since divorced or deceased. A recently retired surgeon from New Orleans, Mitch is gregarious and profane, a stubborn old bird who hasn't lost his lust for women, wine and weed.

Colin, a former classical musician turned bank manager in Australia, is quieter and perhaps sadder. He's happy to let Mitch take the lead when he proposes a trip to Iceland, just for the hell of it.

What follows is essentially a road movie. Mitch and Colin sample the delights of Iceland, from the museums and discos of Reykjavik to the hot springs and geysers of the rugged, lovely countryside. Many funny moments ensue, but they're not big moments. They're quiet and true. When the guys go out on the town with two young women, the jokes don't land where they would in a more mainstream comedy.

As the trip progresses, Colin and Mitch learn about themselves and each other. Beneath Mitch's randy good-old-boy act, he's terrified of retirement. And Colin finds that he's still capable of impulsiveness and joy. Through their companionship, both men plumb depths of emotional honesty that they would never have excavated otherwise.

With a feather-light touch, scenes rarely feel heavy or conspicuously poignant. That's all just under the surface funny business, thanks to a clever script by co-directors Martha Stephens and Aaron Katz. (N.C. School of the Arts alum David Gordon Green is executive producer.)

The film makes some subtle moves toward the end, too, when the guys encounter Nadine (Alice Olivia Clarke), a fellow late-in-life seeker on the chilly moors. Again, the story discards the usual plot formulas and digs deeper for a sweet, funny interlude. Everything is framed with beautiful cinematography of Iceland's majestic mountains, lakes and glaciers.

Land Ho! suggests that, contrary to received rock-and-roll wisdom, getting old isn't necessarily a drag. As Mitch advises Colin: "Don't worry, buddy. Good times are still a-coming."

This article appeared in print with the headline "Odd couples"

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Film Review



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

I am indeed very happy for my life; My name is Vargas Cynthia I never thought that I will live …

by Vargas Cynthia on Axis of Cinema (Film Review)

The lobster is arbitrarily asinine, disjointed, and gratuitously violent towards both humans and former humans that "didn't make it." If …

by Marco_Polo on The Lobster Surreally Skewers Society’s Fear of Single People (Film Review)

The only peeople who murdered those boys were let off by an inexperienced prosecutor and hoodwinked judge. The facts are …

by Greg 1 on The West Memphis Three are free ... what about the real killer? (Film Review)

"Miles Ahead"... "opening Friday".... where? I'm having a tough time finding film times/locations on www.indyweek.com now. The …

by Tbone on Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis Film, Miles Ahead, Isn’t a Real Biopic—It’s Something Better (Film Review)

Comments

I am indeed very happy for my life; My name is Vargas Cynthia I never thought that I will live …

by Vargas Cynthia on Axis of Cinema (Film Review)

The lobster is arbitrarily asinine, disjointed, and gratuitously violent towards both humans and former humans that "didn't make it." If …

by Marco_Polo on The Lobster Surreally Skewers Society’s Fear of Single People (Film Review)

Most Read

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation