The Way Back

Having kept us waiting for seven years for his new film, brilliant Aussie director Peter Weir is under a fair bit of pressure to deliver something a little bit special with The Way Back.

Sadly, the man that gave us Witness and The Truman Show has, after his long layoff, come up with a distinctly patchy offering.

Based on a book by WWII POW Slavomir Rawicz, the film follows the long walk to freedom of a group of prisoners who escape a Russian gulag in Siberia. Among the rag-tag crew who trek across hellish terrain towards India is Mr Smith (Ed Harris) and thief Valka (Colin Farrell).

As they take on the Himalayas and the Gobi desert, their resolve and ability to stand together are severely tested. Despite excellent, committed performances from Harris and Farrell and some truly staggering cinematography, The Way Back is not really as emotionally engaging as it should be.

The perils the group face certainly make for some exciting viewing but ultimately you don’t really connect with any of the cons on the run. Given the quality of work that Weir has produced before,
The Way Back has to be seen as a disappointing return.


Good for: Those who like bumpy road movies.

Watch The Way Back trailer here.

– Pierre de Villiers