4 Your Consideration: Finding The Way Back Doesn’t Showcase Ben Affleck’s Best Performance

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Finding The Way Back is the latest movie featuring Hollywood star Ben Affleck. It is a sports drama movie, directed by Gavin O’Connor and written by Brad Ingelsby. Al Madrigal, Michaela Watkins and Janina Gavankar are the other notable cast members. It follows the story of an alcoholic construction worker, who is surprisingly recruited to be the head coach of his high school’s basketball team, and the change this brings about in his life.

Of course, before looking at Affleck’s performance in this movie, it is important to note the work he has been doing socially during this pandemic. Back in April, when the United States and the rest of the world was firmly in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, Affleck had teamed up with Feeding America, one of the largest charities working towards eradicating hunger in the United States, to set up a VIP casino online game, with the proceeds being donated to the charity. The game was sprinkled with a host of star names, with NFL star Tom Brady, Breaking Bad lead Bryan Cranston, erstwhile Spider-Man Tobey Maguire, comedian Sarah Silverman, Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine, Mad Men lead Jon Hamm, and Arrested Development star Jason Bateman being just some of the famous names who took part in this game. It managed to raise over $1 million for Feeding America, providing it with valuable funds at a time when more Americans than ever before were struggling to provide meals for themselves and their families, due to the pandemic and the economic damage it had wreaked. This is just one example of a celebrity using their fame to be able to help where it is needed. In terms of online and VIP casinos, many casinos such as casino Winz offer VIP memberships or other exclusive benefits for people who want to sign up for them. This allows them to get more benefits and features than regular users, and who knows, maybe even get access to such celebrity tournaments and other exciting events whenever they take place.

The Way Back once again manages to show Affleck’s talent, with the Oscar winner showing his range in pulling off the role of a reformed alcoholic. The rest of the cast does well too, but there are also some small flaws and holes which hold the movie back at times. The camera work is shoddy and annoying, with the constant zooming and shaking being part of a bygone era, while the story could also have been a little tighter. Despite being 108 minutes long, that runtime was not used efficiently, with too much being packed into the last 15 minutes for it to make coherent sense. In contrast, the rest of the movie is too slow, with a lot of unnecessary fluff. There are quite a few sub-plots going on in the movie as well, which distract from the main story and add no value. The director would have been better served cutting some of those out and focusing on Affleck’s redemption story, giving it more time to develop instead of jamming everything into the last few minutes of the movie.

Another criticism is the fact that while this is, on the face of it, a basketball story, the sport itself has very little to do with the plot. It is a basic redemption story, and the story arc is extremely predictable, and the same story could have been told with any other plot, say a person taking a job teaching a special needs class. This makes it a little less enjoyable than it should be, since the acting and dialogue are top-notch. The movie’s score has received praise as well for adding to the drama seen in the movie, but it can also be a touch overbearing. The Way Back is also a ‘heavy’ movie, with over 80% of it being emotional in some way, so be prepared for that before settling in to watch it. Even when the sports angle does take precedence, it involves a lot of the usual sports movie tropes, especially with the coach’s interaction with the players.

A formulaic story and script is lifted by Affleck’s performance, making it a must-watch for his fans, or indeed fans of stellar acting work.



Erika Negrón Rivera
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