In the mind of a true outdoorsman, wilderness rhymes with adventure. Not knowing why lies ahead is not only preferred, but it is what keeps him or her going, lacing those boots each and every morning; marching to a personal drumbeat, which may sound like a babbling brook, a cascading waterfall, a twittering bird, or the sound of one’s own feet slapping the pavement. A true outdoorsman can easily be taken out of nature, but it is with much less ease that this thirst for thrill and adventure can be taken out of him or her. Not all of us may be free agents, able to take off into the woods at a moments notice, at least not physically, which is why we rely on our active imaginations and those of Hollywood producers to access adventure from our cubicles, classrooms, or living rooms.
The great outdoors has forever been a favorite backdrop for adventure, whether it is that of the seemingly quiet woods of a small Oregon town, or the war-torn continent of Middle-Earth, the element of the unknown is what makes a couple of kids (or hobbits) walking through a forest so exciting. Here we have a round-up of our favorite adventure films or scenes that fuel our minds on days when the closest thing to the great outdoors we get is the potted plant on our co-worker’s desk.
Stand By Me (1986)We’re pretty sure the term “coming-of-age” was coined for this short story turned film…okay, so probably not, but even we found ourselves forever changed by the movie’s end. For those unfamiliar with this cult classic, a motley group of preteen venture through the wilderness of Castle Rock, Oregon in order to see their very first dead body. Along their way the boys encounter a vicious junkyard dog, blood thirsty leeches, and a local gang of thugs led by Ace Merrill, played by a young Keifer Sutherland. While all the hi-jinx and storytelling that takes place throughout the film is certainly entertaining, it’s the self discovery and bonding that makes the adventure one of epic proportions.
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)Who hasn’t fantasized about running away from home, snubbing the authorities, and living out of a rucksack, all with your sweetie in tow? Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom has it all: romance, action, adventure—homemade beetle earrings, all done in the modest yet undeniably cool way the director is famous for. While eventually the authorities (and mom and pop) bust up Sam and Suzy’s romantic lakeside campsite, the dreamer and adventurer inside them both never dies.
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)I don’t think we could, in good conscience, write about adventure and epic journeys through the wild and unknown, without giving at least a nod The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings franchise. Beaming adventure from every corner of Middle-Earth, J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels and Peter Jackson’s films bring out the adventurer in everyone, from the stubborn homebody Hobbit to the gold-lusting Dwarf. Take away the quest to destroy the ring and save the world, and Frodo and crew are just a band of trailblazers, rock climbers, fishermen, and archers, regardless of what their pointy ears, hairy feet, and impressive beards may tell you.
For all of you spelunkers complaining that your hobby isn’t represented on the big screen, you obviously haven’t seen Goonies. This eighties classic proves that everyone is fit for adventure, even if they’re not, well, fit for adventure. The Goonies, a group of misfits and outcasts ban together to find a treasure that will inevitably save their neighborhood from the demolition ball, but not before encountering their fair share of unsavory characters, physical obstacles (both of the natural and oh-my-gosh-that-can’t-be-natural variety), and tests of character. The cave that the Goonies find themselves in itself is worth the watch, even if you find yourself unable to stomach the cheesy eighties humor and the infamous “Truffle Shuffle”.