Two nice, dumb, young Americans get lost in the desert and spend a very long time trying to find their way out, passing through sand dunes, salt flats, mountains, good humours and spite, as well as physical and mental exhaustion.
Recent winner of the Palme D'Or for Elephant, Gus Van Sant's other new movie tells the story of two woefully unprepared orienteers, both called Gerry.
The pair pull off the highway during a long road trip for a stint of unspecified sightseeing. They begin trekking towards said sights, deviating from the hikers' route, and strike out across a scrubby desert. They whoop and rugby tackle each other until they are completely disorientated, then try to find their way back.
They fail, of course, and spend the next hour or so trying to stave off their hunger, thirst and mutual hatred as they try to make their way back to civilisation. Very little actually happens, but if you are patient enough to sit through it, you'll catch some stunning scenery, as well as the occasional bit of engaging improvisation and interplay from the actors. That certainly whiles away the first 45 minutes or so, but then it does drag somewhat.
If you think Walkabout would still be worth watching even without its pubescent sexual charge, then you'll probably enjoy this too. But it does make big demands from its audience.
Reviewed by Alex Rayner