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Into the Wild

A tale of a megalomaniac as told by a narcissist
By PETER KEOUGH  |  September 26, 2007
1.5 1.5 Stars

VIDEO: Watch the trailer for Into the Wild.

Although it’s been hailed by many, I found Sean Penn’s film to be the tale of a megalomaniac as told by a narcissist. (Unlike Grizzly Man, which is the tale of a narcissist as told by a megalomaniac — which somehow works.) True, Penn adorns it with nature photography and voiceovers of bad adolescent prose, and it unrolls like an attempt to illuminate the life and words of Chris McCandless (Emile Hirsch) — he might have read Thoreau, but he sure didn’t write like him — as recorded in Jon Krakauer’s bestseller of the same title. Born into an upper-middle-class family, Chris went off the grid after graduating from college, bummed around the country, followed his hubristic dream to live off the land in Alaska, and died in an abandoned bus. As Penn sees it, Chris is a pure soul like the Buddha or St. Francis or the John McCain of the “Straight Talk Express.” As I see it, Penn and Chris are both self-indulgent bores.
  Topics: Reviews , Nature and the Environment, Wildlife, John McCain,  More more >
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