Nine Travel Movies to Watch For in 2009

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  12.26.08 | 12:41 PM ET

Photo by ginnerobot via Flickr (Creative Commons)

If there’s one December fixture that I enjoy almost as much as the ubiquitous “Best of the Past Year” list, it’s the “Trends to Watch Next Year” list. What’s new and hot? What’s old but hot again? And what never goes out of style? (Trends to Watch lists, that’s what.)

So, with that in mind, here are nine travel-esque movies hitting theaters in 2009.

The Descent 2: Looks like one of our favorite travel horror movies has spawned a sequel. In the second round, the lone survivor of a caving trip gone horrifically wrong heads back below the surface—local sheriff in tow—to confirm the fate of her companions. Predictably, things don’t quite go as planned.

Point Break: Indo: Twenty years later, there’s a new band of surfing bandits on the loose—this time in Bali—and a new surfing cop on their trail, too. The producers are being coy about possible cameos from Patrick Swayze or Keanu Reeves, but hey, Swayze turned up in a Dirty Dancing re-hashing a few years back, so why not Point Break, too?

Angels & Demons: The latest highly anticipated Dan Brown adaptation is expected to do for Rome what “The Da Vinci Code” did for Paris, London, Edinburgh and anywhere else it filmed. (In other words, flood some of the city’s finest buildings with visitors who have only a passing interest in their history, art or architecture? Well, sure, if you want to be cynical about it.) Tom Hanks reprises his role as Dr. Robert Langdon.


Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian: Ben Stiller’s museum night watchman leaves New York behind and heads to the Smithsonian to rescue his miniature pals, Octavius and Jedediah. Hilarity (and a heap of comedian cameos) ensues.

Last Chance Harvey: Dustin Hoffman plays Harvey, a down-and-out man who heads to London for his daughter’s wedding, meets an equally single and struggling Emma Thompson at the airport, and—well, you know what happens next. After a 2008 festival release, word has it this one will hit theaters just in time for awards season.

A Walk in the Woods: We’ve been keeping tabs on the planned adaptation of Bill Bryson’s travel classic. Robert Redford will be leading the on-screen assault on the Appalachian Trail. Details are still sketchy, but it’s tentatively slated for a 2009 release.

Fast & Furious: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Co. are back, minus a couple of definite articles, in yet another sequel to “The Fast and the Furious”. This time they race from LA to Mexico—and yes, there are plenty of hot girls and hotter cars.

The Rum Diary: The film adaptation of the early Hunter S. Thompson novel has been in the works for nearly a decade, and (fingers crossed) it should finally hit big screens this year. Word has it Johnny Depp will be playing the lead role of Paul Kemp, a New York journalist who relocates to Puerto Rico and lands in a lust-fueled tangle of expat intrigue.

Escape From New York: Hey, who doesn’t like another remake? This time around, Gerard Butler plays Snake, the war hero/convict sent into a dystopian Manhattan (now a maximum security prison) to rescue the President, whose plane was brought down over the island by terrorists. Yup, they really didn’t change a thing. Except, presumably, it’s no longer set in the late 1980s.

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

9 Comments for Nine Travel Movies to Watch For in 2009

Suzy 12.26.08 | 4:21 PM ET

Gerry Butler said no to Escape From New York a long time ago.  This is very old news.

Eva 12.26.08 | 6:33 PM ET

Hi Suzy,

You may want to check out this story, which post-dates the “Gerard Butler Escapes from New York” (groan!) stories about him quitting the project by about two months, and suggests he may still be on board:

Details are still sketchy for several of these projects.

Suzy 12.26.08 | 7:35 PM ET

Thanks, Eva.  Gerry may decide to revisit this project after all.

TambourineMan 12.27.08 | 3:46 AM ET

How can Swayze come back for Point Break 2? He dies at the end of Point Break. Or are we supposed to believe he survived the hundred-year-storm waves? Whatever. I don’t care how bad this is, it will never top the original, one of the best worst movies ever made. “Vaya con Dios, brah.”

I have no idea what a Gerard Butler is, but this Escape From NY remake has bomb written all over it. President Donald Pleasence and The Duke of New York (Isaac Hayes) are surely rolling over in their graves.

Eva, here’s another one for your 09 list: “Traveling” with Aniston and Eckhardt

Eva 12.27.08 | 12:17 PM ET

Well, Swayze didn’t show up in the Dirty Dancing re-make as Johnny Castle—he played someone else entirely, a brief appearance as a resort dance instructor whose sole purpose appeared to be making all the Gen-Xers in the audience shriek in recognition. (It worked.)

So maybe they’d do something similar in PB2? Swayze turns up as a veteran Bali beach bum to dispense a few words of timely wisdom?

Thanks for the link! Looks like a tear-jerker.

ps: Gerard Butler is the guy from 300 / Lara Croft 2 / P.S. I Love You / Nim’s Island…

TambourineMan 12.27.08 | 3:18 PM ET

You could be right. Perhaps Bodhi will return as a wisdom dispensing ghost, ala Obi-Wan.

Mr Butler’s resume is…um…impressive? Lara Croft 2? Ok.

John M. Edwards 12.28.08 | 7:07 PM ET

Hi Eva:

I look forward to seeing these travel-related films. But I yearn for something with a little more meat. Maybe another sequel to Tarantino and Roth’s “Hostel.”

Here’s a premise for the new Hostel script: an African backpacker comes to New York and checks into a Hell’s Kitchen Hostel, where the staff is, er, a little weird. Then: same plot, different characters. Crispin Glover, of course, would play another cringing backpacker who gets iced.

I know you’re saying, “Lame!” but this was just a suggestion. Anyway, I knew Quentin Tarantino vaguely at college in New Orleans (he’s originally from Tennesee), and I laughed when he told me he was a film director (yah, right!), but he was a good conversationalist and a boon drinking companion. Whenever I saw him I would exclaim, “Tarantula!” Now he’s like this blanking star or something.

John M. Edwards

Enduring Wanderlust 12.28.08 | 10:04 PM ET

It’s hard to believe that Escape From New York will be present an effective re-mark. It was a cult favorite…those rarely transfer well. The sequel was quite silly. I guess it’s easier than writing a new script or developing a new idea

Eternity Bands 01.14.09 | 3:36 PM ET

Escape from New York was a classic.  I would love see a reamke of it.  Not sure if any of the original cast would return, though…

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