I have been thinking of writing a little review of the book/movie Wild, so here goes.
My wife, Lisa, bought me the book a couple years ago and I started reading it right away. A few chapters in, I had to put it down and walk away from it for a while. Cheryl was just kinda pissing me off with the way she was.
So after quite a few months, I decided to pick it up again and give it a chance to see where it would go and I was satisfied with the way it went after that. I guess I just had to get over her flaws and see how her hike went.
A few days ago, Lisa and I went to see the movie on a rainy weekday. Once we found the right theater, we sat down during the previews and watched.
I actually liked the movie. It was true enough to the book and Reece was realistic enough to me as a hiker.
What I liked: She carried a real heavy pack, not a pack that was made to look full, but was actually full of light padding. (This I heard from Cheryl herself in an article, as she acted as a consultant for the movie).
The bumps and bruises captured the reality of long distance hiking with heavy gear. It hurts.
A little bit of the camaraderie that comes naturally and quickly between hikers on the trail.
What I didn't like: The focused a little too much on the creeps of the trail (yes, they are out there and her rendition of the assholes seemed true enough), but I would have liked to see more of the relationships she developed with the hikers during her hike. Maybe less drama, but that is always a special part of a hike.
I was dreading the horse scenes. They did it OK and the pain was much shorter in the movie then when I read the detailed accounting of that poor beasts demise in the book.
So, all in all, we enjoyed ourselves. I love watching hiker movies almost as much as I like being out on the trail myself. It lets me escape to the woods without the soreness of a long day's hike to contend with.
The movie is entertainment. Not a "how-to" for solo female hikers. I'm sure all of us could have learned a few "what not to dos" and it is always prudent for everyone to keep their creep radar on standby at all times. I encounter a lot of solo hikers out there (both male and female). Sometimes I'm one myself. I never fear for their safety as most develop a good sense of themselves and know when a situation can go wrong and react accordingly. As I said, the creeps are out there (they can be found everywhere), but the good far outnumber them on the trail.
So if you want to escape for a couple hours, go see Wild. If you are a hiker or dream of becoming one some day, sitting down and watching this movie would be a lot of fun.