The Way Back
Posted in The Reel World by John Delia on March 7th, 2020
Taking it to the net, Ben Affleck gives his all for the camera as a man who has hit bottom. It’s a performance that brings out the serious side of a character, and not anything like his superhero turns in the barrel. But it’s what the doctor ordered, as its classic Affleck and a joy to watch. If you want to see a comeback to cheer for, it’s Ben Affleck in The Way Back. Down in the dumps for initial reasons unknown except that his wife has left him in a trial separation, ex high school basketball great Jack Cunningham (Ben Affleck) needs something to lift him out of a death spiral induced by alcohol abuse. It comes with an offer from his old high school that had a coach who crapped out in the middle of a losing season. Taking over the team after some pressure from the padre of the parochial school, he starts to wonder what he got himself into. With the help of his assistant coach, Dan (Al Madrigal) and the padre on the bench, he tries to keep from cursing at the refs and drinking on the job. It’s those supporters and the desire to bounce back that are the catalyst that draws the man out of the mouse he had become.