Posted by Jill Boniske aka Arty Chick on July 11, 2014
Land Ho is a road movie, in which a couple of 60ish ex-brothers-in-law named Colin and Mitch head to Iceland to, as Mitch puts it, “Get their groove back.” That includes getting stoned and watching the young crowd in Reykjavík dance, driving their Hummer through the wilderness to take a plunge in the hot springs, and lots of buddy repartee about aging and loss replete with Mitch’s constant teeneage boy style sexual joking. The film ultimately feels more like a bunch of scenes than a full fledged story, so it works mostly as a travelogue that makes you wish you could go to Iceland and, groove or no groove, just see the place.
As it begins, Mitch is visiting Colin, who has just gone through a divorce from his second wife, and Mitch, to cheer him up has booked them a trip to Iceland, whether Colin likes it or not. The two characters are polar opposites; Mitch is all bravado and jokes and Colin is quiet and self-contained. And you wonder that they could have ever been really close, but Colin needs a pick-me-up, and it is a cool gift he’s being given, though at a certain point you can see he needs a break from Mitch.
Land Ho is what I’d call a pleasant film. You can see places that it could have been very funny, but it feels forced. Part of the problem for me was the casting of Mitch. I don’t think the actor was up to the part. A lot of his lines felt like he’d just learned them. The actor playing Colin was much better and in a buddy film, where they need to play off each other, having the more boisterous one weaker than the straight man is a problem. But the bigger problem for me was that the story really doesn’t go anywhere. There is “a secret” that when revealed is not all that surprising and doesn’t really change anything. There are indeed some funny scenes and the travelogue quality makes it engaging on the visual end, but it is slow even at just over 90 minutes. Wait for it on a plane, preferably one to somewhere beautiful.