The Way Back directed by Peter Weir


The premise of this “based on a true story” movie is quite staggering. A group of seven men break free from a Russian forced labour camp in the Northern Gulags of Siberia. They then cross a wintry Siberia, the Gobi Desert, the Himalayas and finally the Indian subcontinent. All by foot, all in farcically difficult conditions and running the risk of being handed in for a bounty on their heads.

Add to that the fact that it is directed by the once awesome Peter Weir (The Truman Show, Witness, Picnic at Hanging Rock) and mix in a pretty star studded cast (Colin Farrell and Ed Harris) all shot on location and one would expect is a moving, jaw dropping boys own adventure that takes the breath away.

Instead we get a very disappointing anticlimax with some hammy, nay cod, Polish acting (Farrell triumphs in this department), poorly lit and rather uninspiring cinematography, a forgettable soundtrack and no more character development than you’d expect from the average news report. The script is weak and the whole movie laboured.

Despite this I’m not saying it’s actually a bad film. It’s not, it’s just not a great film, maybe not even a good one.

Overall, disappointing. But not a complete disaster. After all Ed Harris plays a bit of a blinder.