Director Peter Weir’s “The Way Back” is a pretty straight-forward tale of human survival. It doesn’t try to be more and it doesn’t pretend to be more. Being based on ‘true events’, a viewer would know immediately what they would be in for once they go in to see this film.
The characters in the film have the clear-cut staple of what characters in this type of movies are all about. There is nothing really different or special about them and their interactions with each other are pretty much the same stuff that we’ve seen in other films in this genre. It did have some elements that I liked such as the inclusion of a young woman who joins the merry band of travelers and Weir handled this end quite nicely; but otherwise the film is very predictable when it came to characterization.
However, Weir’s film is nicely shot and there are indeed moments when I thought the harrowing ordeal that our protagonists had gone through was involving enough to keep the film aloft. There were moments that the film felt rather redundant and could’ve stood to have been edited a little better. I had issues with the passage of time in the film, and I feel that it should’ve certainly been handled better.
Despite several rough spots, “The Way Back” is a good film, but it just never hits a homerun. It wins but that victory doesn’t define anything. [3 ½ Out of 5 Stars]