"The Way" refers to The Way of St. James or El Camino de Santiago in the northern part of Spain, not far from the French border.


The most traditional route, though there are several is through the Pyrenees Mountains to the city of Santiago de Compostela where the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is located. It is said that Saint James is buried there, thus the reason for the pilgrimage.


Emilio Estevez directed this nifty story about a father - played by Emilio's father Martin Sheen - who visits the area at first to recover the body of his son, but then to set forth on the pilgrimage himself.

Tom (Sheen) is a orthodontist with a fairly successful practice. His son (Estevez) has suddenly decided to go abroad to find himself, much to Toms chagrin.


During the course of a golf game, Tom gets a phone call notifying him that his son has died when the weather suddenly turn. He was in just his first day of his pilgrimage - in a sense rather comical.


When Tom goes overseas to recover the body he learns what his son was up to and decides that he would do the pilgrimage in honor of his son. So he cremates the body, grabs his sons gear and sets off.


Though he plans on doing the pilgrimage alone he quickly picks up a tag-along named Joost (Yorick van Wageningen), a large Scandinavian with a devout passion for food and a generous personality.

Tom initially rebuffs Joost but little can keep Joost from tagging along, especially when they are joined - again reluctantly - by a bitter Canadian feminist named Sarah (Deborah Kara Unger).


She's full of cracks directed toward men and is on the pilgrimage to quit smoking. But she is taken aback when Tom is not coming on to her like most men, nor is he affected by her wise cracks. Somehow she now feels wanted!


This now become a road trip of the hiking variety as the three reluctantly bond and encounter a variety of events and people along the way.


However, the most appealing aspect of "The Way" is how it quickly transforms into a lush travelogue that could easily play well on the travel channel. You are guaranteed to immediately look up some of the towns along the routes and possibly consider taking the trip yourself.


If Emilio ever decides, he could easily get a job directing with National Geography or the Travel Channel as he captures the heart, soul and culture of this remote region along with the spirit of the pilgrimage. Martin Sheen is perfect as the determined grieving dad on his own quest for completion.


"The Way" plays like a great travelogue that piques any viewers interest and might stir the wanderlust soul in all of us.   -- GEOFF BURTON