Welcome back, Poppers to week three of our Monday Movie Reviews! Mondays are a bore, but that makes them perfect for a movie night!
Grab a drink. Get some popcorn. Bring out the tissues…
Sorry, everyone, it’s another emotional one today! If this Monday is dragging you down, we recommend saving this one for a brighter day. While it is a gem, it’s a tear-jerker.
Are you ready?
Got your tissues?
Let’s take a look!
The Way Back
Directed by Gavin O’Connor (known for the Accountant, the Americans, and Tumbleweeds) The Way Back was a 2020 release. We have just narrowly slipped by this film’s first anniversary, missing it by just two days. So far, we think this is O’Connor’s best work from the director’s chair and a beyond-stellar performance by Ben Affleck. Maybe even his best since Gone Girl, Argo, or even The Town.
What’s It About?
The Way Back is a redemption story. Jack Cunningham (Ben Affleck) is a former basketball star from his high school heydays. Now a construction worker by day and suffering alcoholic by night, he reflects on the life he gave up. A call comes in one day from his high school. Their longtime basketball coach passed away and they want Jack to return and coach up the team. Reluctant at first, Jack accepts the position and finds himself in for the long-haul with the players. Soon, a bond forms, and these young boys learn to be better ballplayers from Jack. But just as importantly, Jack learns to be a better man from these young boys.
What Makes It Great?
In short: so much.
The story is impeccable. Throughout the 1 hour 48 minute runtime there are plenty of saddening twists that dig deep down and create emotional depth in Affleck’s character. You’ll understand why Jack struggles, why he suffers inside, you’ll know what brings him light and makes him better, and you’ll hurt to see him throw it away, only to pay the price. That brings us to our next point.
The acting is superb. The emotions feel real, and maybe for a good reason. Many fans speculate Affleck tapped into deep-rooted personal turmoil to bring Jack Cunningham to life. Whether this is true or not, the product put on screen is the greatest the actor has accomplished in a long time, and we don’t say that lightly.
Some comic book fans disapproved of Affleck’s recent roles as Batman. Love him or hate him, you’ll see first-hand the actor’s abilities in The Way Back.
This seems to be a running theme in our movie reviews, as Jared Leto redeemed his poorly received portrayal as the Joker with his performance as Sparma in The Little Things.
Comic book heroes may not work for Leto or Affleck. Like them or hate them in those roles, Leto and Affleck have been more than capable in other roles. Leto excelled as Rayon in The Dallas Buyer’s Club and yuppie Paul Allen in American Psycho. And everyone knows Affleck’s performances in Good Will Hunting, The Town, Armageddon, Gone Girl, Boiler Room, and others.
The Way Back is Affleck’s return to what makes him good. Leto showed in The Little Things that a villain doesn’t have to be over-the-top to steal the screen. And Affleck shows in The Way Back that you don’t need a cape to be a hero.
We like you a lot, Ben Affleck. Great job.
Not that you care what we think…
Please answer our calls.
We give The Way Back 8 🍯 out of 10.
🍯 🍯 🍯 🍯 🍯 🍯 🍯 🍯
This one is definitely worth checking out. It has been over a year and still available to stream. Find it, give it a watch, and let us know what you think! What movies would you like to see us review next? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @theHoneyPOP! You can also hit us up on Facebook and Instagram!
Need more things to watch? We’ve got the hook up!
Featured Image Source: The Way Back poster courtesy of Warner Bros.