Earl Lynn Nelson
Alice Olivia Clarke
Land Ho! (R)
Action/Adventure 94 July 11, 2014
For much of its running time, Land Ho! indulges Mitch as he talks about his penis, Colin's penis, and things that look like penises, which up above the Arctic Circle encompasses lighthouses, geysers, and more. The big-talking lech hopes that he can even use his penis on his much younger cousin-once-removed, a Ph.D. student on her own vacation with a female friend. We squirm, embarrassed by Mitch's self-delusional belief that he can woo the girls by plying them with new clothes and fancy wine. But we're also not sure if Stephens and Katz will indulge his fantasies. Thankfully, they don't, and as it swats down our fears of go-get-em-gramps wish fulfillment, the film settles into an off-kilter rhythm as though it had simply unleashed Nelson and Eenhoorn in the snow to riff their conversational jazz.
In the end, that never-quite-attempted seduction, like the rest of the film, is just a gentle fizzle. Land Ho! feints toward pathos and perversity, only to decide that it's better off giving us abridged, postcard emotions.