Noah Thompson’s review published on Letterboxd:
Happiness only real when shared.
About the most 6/10 film I've seen as of late. Just about everything in it is decent. It's shot moderately well. I thought most of the performances were alright. I liked the Eddie Vedder songs. The writing is mostly passable, though it borders a little too close to the silly "We live in a society." territory. Once in a while, you have stories that come around in books and movies especially that feel as though they connect with adolescents. Something that they are searching for in life, but may not have the words to fully express it, so they look towards the art of others. The Catcher in the Rye of course comes to mind first, and I think Into the Wild is another one of those books. In one of my English classes back in high school, I had the option to read this, but passed. (I instead read Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, a decision I still regret.) There is of course something inherently dangerous and problematic about how Chris McCandless' story unfolds, yet I imagine Sean Penn and crew aren't bringing this story to life to encourage you to do what he did. It is true in some way that we as a society, affluent members of it especially, can get too caught up in materialism. Having stuff and the need to make money takes center stage, actually living life and enjoying individual moments risking to get lost in the crossfire. Chris' greatest mistake came from how selfish and irresponsible he was with his complete and total isolation. There can come freedom from removing yourself from what you were before, but what use is freedom and life if you have no one else to share it with? I'm glad I finally watched this, and I would still have interest in reading the book, but I don't feel the need to ever revisit this. I'll take a longer walk today though.