The Way Back

The Way Back ★★½

Decent movie, but I still haven’t found a good example of a basketball game that is filmed and edited exceptionally well. Maybe it’s trying to fit an entire game into one scene through a montage, or not having an overall purpose in the narrative other than “they won” or “they lost”. Or maybe it’s that all of the scenes are framed in extreme close up and cut to the point where it’s hard to tell what’s even happening.

It doesn’t help when they obviously don’t know a ton about basketball... once the point guard gets double teamed in a press situation on the defense side, and literally all other four guys are standing on the other side of the court, and then they yell at the point guard. Or when the ref makes a call and Ben Affleck gets pissed but the ref calls it a block when they guys literally just grabs the offensive player’s wrist from the side. Plus what kind of high school league are they playing in where they aren’t automatically in the playoffs? Plus there’s no way any real Catholic school would let a coach curse that much. My basketball coach said goddammit maybe twice. Plus the crowd chants “na na na na hey hey hey good bye” but there’s literally nobody in the crowd shouting or moving their hands and it’s all in perfect harmony... With high school chants you’re lucky if you can even understand what they’re saying, and at a Christian school it’s unlikely they’ll have a student section large enough to even DO chants. Plus a team doesn’t go from only scoring half of another team’s score to beating them later in the season. Maybe you beat them in the next season. But not in the same season. That just doesn’t happen, especially when Affleck isn’t even really doing anything extraordinary as a coach. He might be doing some rudimentary things right, like showing up to the games and practices and giving directions, but the best thing he does is give their best player confidence and make him the team captain. This would definitely help the team, but they still fundamentally don’t have a ton of talent other than that one kid. Plus I’m pretty sure they only shoot like one free throw the entire game, and every shot is either a lay up or a three pointer.

I suppose this is what happens when I know stuff about a subject a movie is dealing in: I get way more nitpicky than usual.

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