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Land Ho! (★★)

This old man comedy gets few laughs and doesn’t have a big payoff…

land_hoOld guy comedies/road trip movies have never tickled my fancy.  Grumpy Old Men with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau is mildly amusing in its 90’s like humor and The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman aged very poorly just weeks after seeing it.  Writer/directors Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens deliver an average look at a pair of ex brothers-in-law that venture off on a trip through Iceland in the new indie Land Ho!.

Starring Paul Eenhoorn as the stoic and reserved Colin and Earl Lynn Nelson as the hilarious Mitch, the two older unknown actors create a funny dynamic that gathers a bunch of laughs and some interesting moments.  The two seek out new realms of their lives, encountering distant family members and meeting new individuals however, it comes off as old man perversion at times which creates an uncomfortable feeling among the viewer.  Nelson, who actually has some true standout moments, is relegated to being a creepy old man lusting after anything that walks.  He’s shortchanged completely.  Eenhoorn, who is given a back story that would have offered him an opportunity to explore and deliver an interesting character, is given the most generic and inside the box resolution to his story.

What keeps the film engaging are the attempts at comedy, which mostly land.  There are jokes and occurrences that get you chuckling quite a bit.  It isn’t quite enough to sustain but at least its memorable.  Cinematographer Andrew Reed brings the audience to the edge of Iceland, giving us a tour of the country through the character’s perspectives.  It’s the single best technical aspect of the film.  When it comes to Aaron Katz’s editing, the film moves like molasses.  We are eagerly awaiting the next plot point to take effect as we lay stagnant in a scene that goes a few minutes too long.

land-ho-skip-cropThe film is a shining beacon on the surface, extremely likable on first impression however, your care and investment in the characters take a steady decline early on.  I only wish the writers would have allowed these characters to go down different avenues.  There’s just not a whole lot to say about this one.  Land Ho! is half bland, half funny.

TRAILER:

What do you think?

Stan

Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of AwardsCircuit.com. Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times, CNN.com, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.

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