Now that Ben Affleck is free from wearing a cape and cowl as The Dark Knight in the DC Extended Universe, he’s getting back to some down-to-earth drama with The Accountant director Gavin O’Connor.
The Way Back finds Ben Affleck playing a former high school basketball star who is all washed up, his life crippled by alcoholism and going nowhere fast. But when his alma mater is in need of a new basketball coach, he might find a reason to turn his life around. This may sound like a cheesy Disney sports movie, but judging by the first trailer, this clearly isn’t going that route. Watch The Way Back trailer to see for yourself.
The Way Back Trailer
There have been countless sports dramas like this where a new coach is in a rut or has a bad attitude about his place in life, only to learn some lessons from the kids they’re coaching. Meanwhile, the kids have some lessons to learn from the coach too. In this case, it’s hard to imagine what the kids can learn from a drowning alcoholic, but as he starts putting down the liquor in favor of picking up the whistle, he starts to help guide these kids away from a path he already walked.
Part of me wonders if this was a little therapeutic for Ben Affleck. The actor has recently been open about his own real life alcoholism and rehabilitation, and this feels like it might have been a script that helped wake him up a little bit.
The movie also stars Al Madrigal (Night School), Michaela Watkins (Brittany Runs a Marathon), Janina Gavankar (True Blood) and Glynn Turman (Bumblebee) and was written by Brad Ingelsby (Run All Night, Out of the Furnace).
Jack Cunningham (Ben Affleck) once had a life filled with promise. In high school, he was a basketball phenom with a full university scholarship, when suddenly, for reasons unknown, he walked away from the game, forfeiting his future. Now years later, Jack is spiraling down, triggered by an unspeakable loss, and drowning in the alcoholism that cost him his marriage and any hope for a better life. When he is asked to coach the basketball team at his alma mater, which has fallen far since his glory days, he reluctantly accepts, surprising no one more than himself. As the boys start to come together as a team and win, Jack may have finally found a reason to confront the demons that have derailed him. But will it be enough to fill the void, heal the deep wounds of his past, and set him on the road to redemption?
The Way Back arrives in theaters on March 6, 2020.
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