The Way (12A)
Starring: Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, James Nesbitt
Friday 13 May 2011
"What the hell is wrong with that kid?" Martin Sheen's conservative optometrist, Tom, laments about his estranged backpacking 40-year-old son, Daniel (Emilio Estevez) in The Way.
He trundles off to the golf course with his well-heeled pals, but his chip shot is disrupted by a phone call informing him son has perished on the Pyrenees. Daniel died in a storm on the first leg of El Camino de Santiago (also known as The Way of Saint James) pilgrimage. To honour his son, Sheen's "stiff" decides to walk the 800km route, waved on by Tchéky Karyo's beatific, homily spouting police captain.
Tom's plan – as much as we can infer, as he doesn't speak that much – is to march, alone, and scatter his son's ashes at various points along the route. But his solitary, mournful progress is consistently disrupted by a host of stereotypes (isn't that always the way, you go out for a hike and a stereotype hinders your path?). Inevitably, Tom ends up bonding with these dysfunctional pilgrims – a chain-smoking Canadian, Sarah (Deborah Kara Unger), a kindly chubby Dutchman, Joost (Yorick van Wageningen), and a verbose Irish writer, Jack (James Nesbitt) suffering from writer's block (he's as annoying as he sounds) – and we follow their plodding, cliché-ridden journey to a spiritual awakening... or something.
Twenty minutes in and there is a sense of overwhelming terror that there's another 100 minutes of Emilio Estevez's mawkish love letter to his daddy – and, more creepily, to himself – to go. However, Sheen, the lumbering Dutchman and the gorgeous countryside (it comes across half Pyrenees tourist-board video, half beginners' guide to spiritualism and Catholicism) just about keep The Way going, and the Apocalypse Now star's red hair really is a marvel. It's in great nick. You do worry what Martin's other son, Charlie, thinks of it all, though. Frankly, watching his brother suck up to father on film is probably the last thing he needs right now.
Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Boston Marathon runner's search for mystery man she kissed ends with letter from his wife
- 2 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
- 3 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 4 How to gain confidence and maximise your sexual potential
- 5 Chinese theme park sets up 'death simulator' where volunteers can experience being cremated
Penny Dreadful, series 2 episode 1, review: It is still gloriously silly
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
Eurovision 2015: What date and time is the song contest and who are the favourites to win?
How the Other Half Eat, Channel 4 - TV review: Swapping food trolleys shows how food and class are closely connected
Noel Gallagher 'cannot wait' to hear Oasis-inspired One Direction album but rants about 'pointless' Tidal and Spotify
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils