I love travel movies and try to watch one here and there. I have shared a few here on my blog like Under the Tuscan Sun and The Way. Today I am going to share one I enjoyed and recently watched again, The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. These two elderly characters, Billionaire Edward Cole and auto mechanic Carter Chambers meet while in the hospital being treated for lung cancer. After hearing he has less than a year to live, Chambers started writing a list of activities to do before he “kicks the bucket.” Cole finds it the next morning and urges him to do everything on the list, adds his own items to it, and offers to finance all expenses. This is where the fun and travel part of the movie begins.
The first thing the two do on their bucket list is skydiving, where Chambers tells Cole that he hates him, but they survive and move on to the next item on their list. The two men head to California Speedway near Fontana and drive a vintage Shelby Mustang and Dodge Challenger around the track a few times. This is where Chambers gets even with Cole and seems to decide to have fun going through the list. The next thing they do is fly over the beautiful North Pole caps and talk about the philosophy of life.
They end up in the south of France and have dinner at Chevre d’Or, and share an incredible view outside the restaurant where Cole shares that he hasn’t been in touch with his daughter for years. Chambers adds “get in touch with daughter” to the list, but Cole is adamant about removing it from the list, however, Chambers holds onto the list and does not remove it.
The next adventure takes them to Tanzania in Africa where they get to see roaming lions, elephants, and many zebras. It is a beautiful scene and they even stay in an open outside glamping-like site.
Later in their trip, they visit the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, as well as the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is where Chambers tells Cole that when he dies he wants to be cremated, put in an old can, and placed somewhere with a view. Later they head to China and ride motorcycles on top of the Great Wall.
A little later they try to visit Mount Everest but sadly due to a storm they are unable to even see it. Then they head to Hong Kong where Cole hires to prostitute to slyly pick up on Chambers who had stated he had never been with anyone but his wife. Chambers turns her down and tells Cole he is done with the trip and wants to go home.
When they return home, Chambers tricks Cole by having his driver drive them to his estranged daughter. However, Cole will not talk to her due to his pride. He storms off feeling upset after Chambers’s breach of trust. He feels like Chambers did it to get even after trying to tempt him with the prostitute in Hong Kong. Chambers then returns home to his wife and family where they have a nice but short reunion.
Chambers ends up passing out after dinner and is rushed back to the hospital. Meanwhile, Cole ends up back at his luxury high rise and cries over his life and maybe the loss of his friendship with Chambers. Later, Cole ends up going into remission but sadly has to say goodbye to Chambers who dies a few days later during surgery. This prompts Cole to go and make things right with his daughter. Happily he gets to meet his young granddaughter whom he never knew he had.
The most touching part of the movie is upon Cole’s death (at 81) when Matthew (Cole’s assistant) takes his ashes to a peak in the Himalayas. As Matthew places a Chock full o’Nuts coffee can of Cole’s ashes alongside another can of Chambers’ ashes, he crosses off the last item on the bucket list, “witness something truly majestic” and tucks the completed list between the cans. Sad ending, but a great way to end the movie.
This movie made me laugh, made me cry, and made me what to visit some of these amazing places they visited. Hopefully I will someday get to visit many of them as well as other places on my list of things to see and do. Here is a link to the trailer if you have never seen the movie. It is worth the time. Happy travels.
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