Monday, July 22, 2013
The Way, Way Back review
People always complain about how all the summer movies are big-budget, action-packed blockbusters with no character development and no plot. I personally don't mind a big-budgeted action blockbuster from time to time, that is, if it's done well. The Way, Way Back, is the new film from writer/director team Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, and it's the kind of movie that satisfies everyone. It's not some big-budget blockbuster, but it's just as enjoyable as a good one. The plot of The Way, Way Back is a familiar but good one. Duncan (played by Liam James) is an awkward teenager whose divorced mom (Toni Collette), her boyfriend (Steve Carell), and his daughter (Zoe Levin) go on vacation together. Duncan hats it there because all the adults (Rob Corddry, Amanda Peet, and Alison Janney) act ridiculous, and everyone seems to hate him, but soon meets Owen (portrayed hilariously by Sam Rockwell), who is a very cool manager of a local water park, and they become good friends. Owen's water park is a reprieve for Duncan from his mom's mean and boyfriend. It's an oasis where he can get away from all the awkward moments and terrible people and just live. The movie, while very good, got very sappy towards the end. I was so into the story I hardly noticed, but after I saw it, I did realize the ending was a bit too syrupy and happy. I still don't really mind, but I think that could have been done differently. The acting in this movie was superb. Sam Rockwell is good in pretty much anything. He's very underrated. Recently he's been doing especially well. Rockwell was fantastic in Moon and just as great in Seven Psychopaths. The Way,Way Back is another great flick that Sam Rockwell makes even greater. By the way, Moon and Seven Psychopaths are both great movies that I highly recommend. Steve Carell is also quite good here. He really plays out of type and does it well. Carell played his part so well, by the end of the film I hated his character. Hating Steve Carell is a very hard thing to do. Liam James is great as our teenage protagonist. He plays the awkward role so damn well, I couldn't be sure if he was acting or not. Jim Rash and Nat Faxon have small supporting roles and they are actually great in them. Jim Rash plays the Dean on the show Community, and he's great in it. He's just as strange and hilarious here. Rash and Faxon wrote The Descendants last year. I thought that was pretty decent but I think The Way, Way Back is two steps up from that. It's not a perfect movie. It gets kind of syrupy at the end and it's kind of a familiar story, but I really did love this movie and am willing to forgive it's flaws. It's wonderfully enjoyable and keeps you engaged with the story the whole time. Plus there's some terrific performances from Sam Rockwell, Liam James, and Steve Carell. I honestly think you have to be a cynical bastard to truly hate this movie. Just saying. I give The Way, Way Back 4.3 out of 5 stars. Happy Viewing! You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at Facebook.com/WhitsMovies.