WILD – Rated R

Wild movie poster

As we are thrust into the real-life journey of Cheryl Strayed (played by Reese Witherspoon), we are embarking upon an 1100-mile journey on the Pacific Crest Trail – one of the longest trails in the US – for enjoyment and relaxation…yeah right! Maybe to come to grips with a million issues in her life that she can’t seem to get beyond, so lets hike for more miles than any one cares to count on some of the toughest terrain known to man… yep, that sounds more like it!

Cheryl has been trying to come to terms with a lot of disappointment in her life for many years, some of it self-imposed while some of it she has had no control over. When she runs across a book about the PACIFIC CREST TRAIL, she is drawn to the idea of making this excursion SOLO, as a way to rid herself of “her demons” that she just can’t manage to get beyond – like the struggle of loosing her mother Bobbi (played by Laura Dern) way before she should have, or the fact that she has just ended her marriage to her husband Paul (Thomas Sodoski) as a result of numerous infidelities, even though he still loves her, or maybe it is just to regain a sense of “normalcy” in her life – whatever that means – since she will have only herself to rely on for survival…regardless of what the actual reasons are, she sees no other way to change her life around than TO DO THIS!

Will Cheryl be able to make the 1100 journey, or be forced to end her excursion prematurely? Will this incredible journey help her to come to grips with her past, and face a brighter future? Or will this journey bring Cheryl nothing more than further heartache and despair into her life?

I give WILD a C: I enjoyed seeing Reese in a role that is definitely far from anything else she has done, as WILD will erase any of those goodie two-shoe roles right out of your mind! It was also enjoyable seeing this real-life story play out on film, but sadly, parts of it seemed to just drag on, and on, and on for me. Now, I realize we are taking an 1100-mile journey, but even Reese’s acting prowess wasn’t keeping me entertained enough to not want to nod off in parts of this film. I too, was having a hard time with the casting of Laura Dern as her Reese’s mother…sister maybe…but mother, no way!!! The premise of the film, even though biographical, made me stop to wonder – how bad does your life have to be to want to take a 1100 mile journey BY YOURSELF…seriously! But, she did run into some interesting characters along her way that helped to perk my interest when things began to get dull with all her trekking.   WILD isn’t fantastic, its not awful, its just okay in my estimation…. so, if you like adventure movies, this film may be right up your alley, but if you are expecting an ADVENTURE/THRILLER type of film that is going to leave you on the edge of your seat, you may be sadly disappointed.

Kathy Kaiser