4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
You don't have to be a traveler to love the adventure/romance "The Art of Travel," but you must want to know how bad days can make lemonade out of lemons. If Lonely Planet lines your book shelves at home, seeing this movie may be a nostalgic two hours.
"The Art of Travel" begins with groom-to-be Conner Layne (Christopher Masterson) examining his choices in life while at the alter with his Bride-to-be. This is the hook for Conner's soul searching adventure as he embarks on his honeymoon by himself, switching his ticket from the tame waters of Cancun for Managua Nicaragua. This 9 week journey through Central America leaves him robbed, broke, but with a cultural group of new friends nobody could ever forget. In Panama he meets Chris Loren (Johnny Messner) and his wife Darlene(Brooke Burns) who are looking for one more traveler to join their expedition to cross The Darien Gap - a swath of jungle betwen Panama & Columbia where no roads exist and conditions turn from benign to deadly in a matter of seconds. Their master plan is to break a World Record by driving a Jeep through this dangerous part of the world. Conner finds himself on board for the 369 day trip with six other foreign travelers who are seeking the fruit of adventure, battling heavy rain, deadly switchbacks, swollen rivers,bugs,revolutionaries and a few practical jokes.
Picking up where most movies of the genre fail to go, "The Art of Travel" leaves a message that instead of deep philosophy and overwhelming drama we should just "relax, have a beer and see what happens next," effectively expressed by Conner's dad (Ernie Lively). Where "The Beach" examines that utopian travel is impossible, "Art of Travel" suggests that if you set a goal anything is possible. "Art" wants nothing more than to convey the value of friendship and cultural exeptance and internal experience towards one's self, avoiding at any point the need to go in the direction of "Lord of the Flies" or the dark places of humanity. Instead "The Art of Travel" celebrates the twists and turns that are often unexpected.
Shot on location in five countries: U.S, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Bolivia, with a stunning sequence at Machu Picchu, the photography in this movie lends itself to the meaning of arm chair travel. It is a gorgeous sight to behold. The home theater experience will be the mental vacation you were craving all summer. At least it was for myself. Christopher Masterson does a terrific job as the weary Conner Layne who learns the importance of trusting his own instincts. Johnny Messner and Brooke Burns give excellent support performances with a great bill of actors that include Maria Conchita Alonso, Bijou Phillips, Ernie Lively, James Duval, Jake Muxworthy, Shalim Ortiz, Alexandra Breckenridge and newcomer Angelika Baran. Have your passport to wanderlust ready for a good night of old fashioned entertainment.
Other notable reviews from the official website: [...]
"Art of Travel" is truly about the simple pleasures in life. It's an unpretentious motion picture filled with familiar dramatic footprints, but remains something worthwhile and unexpectedly delicate.
- Brian Ornsdorf, FilmJerk.com
"The Art of Travel" is a quality adventure, and as a travelogue a gorgeous sight to behold.
Mark Bell, Film Threat Magazine
"Be on the look out for The Art of Travel, a well-made shrewdly written comedy-drama that captures that feeling of being young and broke and ready to go anywhere."
-Mick LaSalle, The San Francisco Chronicle
"Travel is an ambitious, involving and extensive travelogue that challenges the imagination. [A] feasible fable that allows one to remain contemplative and connected."
-Frank Ochieng, Movie Eye
"Captures well what it's like to travel and attacks the feelings and experiences that go with it without being over-the-top philosophically. It conjured up memories of my own travels and the realization and feelings of my own experiences."
- Mathew Ralston, Orange County Register
"An extremely enjoyable romp that is guaranteed to leave you with wanderlust."
-2008 Philadelphia Film Festival
-Bruce Newman, San Jose Mercury News
"The Art of Travel twists and turns like a meandering river, with unexpected comic surprises popping up around every bend. Smart and funny, it's a journey that won't soon be forgotten."
- Cinequest 2008
"Emerging director Thomas Whelan created with Brian La Belle the sort of story anyone hopes to tell their grandchildren. The film is a love letter to wanderlust. It is for anyone who has considered trading in their return ticket home for a one-way ticket to someplace far outside of the usual comfort zone and anyone who has groaned over the standard two-week American vacation limit. No one in the film is snapping photos or writing postcards; everyone is absorbing an experience that will better shape them as living beings."
- Deborah Nicol Dearth, The Desert Sun
"The Art of Travel has charmed film festivals with vistas of Central and South America, and a meaningful message of cultural exploration and acceptance."
- Elliott K. Kotek, Moving Pictures Magazine