The Way Back ★★★

The Way Back presents a shining example of Ben Affleck's immeasurable acting chops. Playing a man at the mercy of an addiction gone overboard; carrying inside the pain and trauma of unfortunate breaks in life that can only be ease with bottles and glasses filled with the burning aroma of alcohol. Hard to not see the connection to some of the events that Affleck has struggled in his own life within the last few years inspiring and fueling his magnificent performance full of unbridled vulnerability. A performance that immediately should be added to his career highlight reel and will make the viewer feel the upmost happy for his willingness to wear his scars on his sleeve; nothing can be said about the power of therapy through cinema.

Outside of the force that is Affleck, this film doesn't have anything new that you haven't seen in the familiar routine for a team focused sports film. The moments of introduction to a team, the clunkiness of their abilities seen easily early on, improvement becomes evident fast, and then they are this unstoppable team who goes on to win or be in the big game. The one difference is that we don't follow the players as much as we follow Affleck's personal character moments which was a bit of fresh air. Supporting characters are vacant in dimension or presence and just pop in and out conveniently for moments of exposition or dramatic plot devices. The feel good is at a level of 11 out of 10 with some editing and musical choices being forceful in conjuring up a sweet but manufactured spot of emotion. This is one of those cases of a film being anchored by a star performance but the other elements are far away from the same level.

If you are a fan of Ben Affleck, go see this film and he will make you joyous with the way he carries this film on his shoulders. Far from words such as "boring" or "bad", but its a sports drama that is as regular as plain wallpaper.


2020 Ranked 

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