Walking into the theater to see The Way Back , I will admit I had pretty low expectations for the film. I didn’t know a lot about this movie other than Ben Affleck plays a former basketball All-Star who now has a relationship with the liquor bottle and now has the opportunity to redeem his past, by becoming the coach to a ethnically mixed high school basketball team at his alma mater.
If you love the sport of Basketball and a feel good story, you would love The Way Back. Ben Affleck plays Coach Jack Cunningham… His portrayal of the character had me rooting for the underdogs the entire movie as the conflict between triumph and hardship unfolds. It’s safe to assume that The Way Back message is to show how hard work and perseverance pays off.
However, there are no scenes of them trying and failing to work better as a team. It just sort of … happens. Coach Cunningham kids are ciphers, with maybe two or three of them allowed a brief scene each. With none of them ever coming close to resembling an actual person of interest in the film. Once the films matures a bit, then you are able to see the team coming together and work like a team should do.
The main players are Hotshot Kenny (Will Ropp), who is challenged by Jack to discover his true potential. The outsize Chubbs (Charles Lott Jr.), a positive mood-setter and outsider Brandon (Brandon Wilson), whose latent talents are mostly hidden under his protective shell.
This movie shows how you can change someone life if you believe in them. Even though Coach Cunningham has struggled with his inner demons in his lifetime, it also shows how we can over come our own battles and win at the end. Oh yeah, there’s Kenny, one of the star basketball players who kept on pushing to be great like his coach. This movie is not just about sport, it can pull on your heart strings as well.
In some parts of the movie I couldn’t help but to shed some tears, as you can imaging, the human struggle is something we can all relate in some way or another. But over all the movie was a true classic in my eyes, in part with other classics like Coach Carter. I give it 9 put of 10 because it started off slow but then got better.