How did you spend your gap year? Unless the answer’s climbing Everest or training to be an astronaut, prepare to feel just a little unadventurous. Fresh out of university, Texas boy Ben Masters corralled three friends and ten horses then set out to ride the range from the Mexican border to Canada along a stretch of protected wilderness. This documentary follows their trail, from the cactus deserts of Arizona to the epic granite sprawl of Glacier National Park. It’s stunningly photographed – how could it not be? – and Masters’s decision to adopt and train wild mustangs for the trip adds an ecological undercurrent.
The problem here is that our cheerful, corn-fed young heroes aren’t terribly interesting people. So the doc can feel a bit like thumbing through the holiday snaps of a slightly dull friend – at least until the final minutes, when an argument between two of the boys results in a strange, fascinating act of macho self-sabotage. Greater conflict (or simply more probing interviews) might have made for a more gripping movie. But what’s here will delight anyone who dreams of living free, sleeping rough and scoffing beans around the campfire.