A Desert Walk

Main Cast: Matt Damon, Casey Affleck

Director: Gus Van Sant

This one is extremely difficult to rate properly. I don’t exactly know what to call it, so I stuck it in Drama. It’s more like a scenic tour, with a few conversations thrown in for good measure.

The plot: Two young men drive out to some sort of park located near the desert. They decide to leave the trail and somehow get turned around. They wander for the rest of the day, ending up among the hills and mountains. After climbing all over and around the hills, they end up down in the valley again, moving deeper into the desert. Can they find the road? Can they get out of the desert?

That’s pretty much it. There are spectacular camera pans over hills and valleys, of clouds and the sun, and the vaulting heights of the mountains. There are also close-ups of Damon and Affleck; if you are fans of these young men you will not be disappointed. The two friends share normal conversations, exchanging few words while walking, some bantering during their nightly campfire scenes. In one scene, Affleck gets trapped up on a rock and their solution is both true to life and amusing to watch.

Can I recommend this one? Hard to say. It has no real plot, nor real direction. But it was curiously watchable. I compare it to Open Water, in that two people are trapped by nature, and we watch to see how they cope and adapt to their perilous situation.

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