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Wednesday, March 4, 2020

The Way Back - Movie Review


The Movie: The Way Back

The Director: Gavin O'Connor

The Cast: Ben Affleck, Janina Gavankar, Michaela Watkins, Hayes MacArthur, Da'Vinchi, Lukas Gage, Al Madrigal, Melvin Gregg

The Story: Jack Cunningham was a HS basketball phenom who walked away from the game, forfeiting his future. Years later, when he reluctantly accepts a coaching job at his alma mater, he may get one last shot at redemption.


The Review:
Gavin O'Connor has made some fantastic movies during his career including The Accountant which also stars Ben Affleck, Miracle, and Warrior which holds the distinction of being the very first ever movie to be reviewed right here on TwoOhSix.com. With this impressive resume under his belt, I figured this would be a highly charged emotional journey through sports and personal redemption. If nothing else I thought this might be an unintentional remake of Hoosiers which is pretty much the epitome of sports movies.

There are a lot of similarities to Hoosiers to stand on its own although there is enough of a difference for the movie to stand on its own. The problem is that the story puts basketball and the basketball team completely in the background so if that's what you're looking for, you may be a bit disappointed when you realize this is more of a down in the dumps personal drama. There are only a few brief moments where we get to know the players on the basketball team so they end up being reduced to bland caricatures that have no emotional connection at all.

The Way Back is like a basketball team doing nothing but layup drills the entire game. The fundamentals are there, everyone does their job in a very competent manner, there's just no highlight reel plays to keep the audience entertained. It's basically the LaCroix of sports movies.


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