Land Ho! Blu-ray Review

     Actors: Paul Eenhoorn, Earl Lynn Nelson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: November 4, 2014
  • Run Time: 95 minutes


            Road trip films are often far more interested in the journey than the destination, but the Icelandic setting of Land Ho! makes each step of the trip feel like an arrival of sorts. The plot is minimal between the two old friends on the trip together, so all focus is on the character development, and the scenery often feels as though it has a supporting role in the narrative. This is not unlike many other road trip/vacation buddy comedies, though it does begin to feel like a travelogue for Iceland at certain points in the meandering screenplay.


            In an impromptu vacation plan, recently retired surgeon Mitch (Earl Lynn Nelson) convinces his former brother-in-law to join him on a road trip through Iceland. The mild-mannered Colin (Paul Eenhoorn) is recently divorced and in need of the companionship, despite his initial complaints. Their odd-couple dynamic fuels much of the humor in the film, with Mitch eager to embrace life with youthful vigor that diverges from Colin’s quiet existence. While Colin is content to take in the peaceful scenery uneventfully, Mitch looks for excitement and adventure at every opportunity.


            Because there is no plot aside from the vacation these two have taken, the movie becomes exclusively about their journey and the personal growth it forces upon each of them. Colin must face the loneliness caused by his failed marriage, while Mitch comes to terms with his forced retirement from medicine. Occasionally these personal developments coincide with the adventures they are having in Iceland, though more often than not Land Ho! feels like a travel video with bits of story in-between the scenic stops. What saves the film is the dynamic between the two leads, who embody the roles despite a lackluster screenplay from Martha Stephens and Aaron Katz.


            The Blu-ray release includes DVD copy of the film as well, along with the bonus features. There are a handful of deleted scenes, adding more footage of Iceland, and a Q&A from the Los Angeles Film Festival. Also included is a commentary track with stars Eenhoorn and Nelson, along with filmmaker team Stephens and Katz.


    Entertainment Value: 7/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 6.5/10

    Historical Significance:  6/10

    Special Features: 7/10



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