Written by / 8/01/2013 / No comments / , , , , , ,

THE WAY WAY BACK

year: 2013 cast: Liam James, Sam Rockwell, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Rob Corrdry rating: *1/2
At one point when the main character, or in this case semi-main character, Duncan, a reclusive fourteen-year old boy who, with his mother, her jerky boyfriend and his melancholy daughter, go to a small beachside town for a summer vacation… Duncan and another underdog friend are about to climb a fence to break into a work party when one of the employees, two feet away, opens the gate door and tells the kids there’s a much easier way inside. That’s THE WAY WAY BACK in a nutshell – instead of anything interesting, intriguing or involving actually happening, stuff simply… happens.

For a so-called “Coming of Age” tale, way too much time centers on Duncan’s mother and her boyfriend. Toni Collette and Steve Carell are going through the motions. Along with another boring couple, all they really do is sit around laughing, talking and drinking while Duncan sulks alone in his room, but not for long: Soon the gloomy kid ventures out on his bike and finds a retro Water Park, built in the eighties and made to stay that way. This is where the movie is supposed to shine, and with Sam Rockwell’s laidback and always-jokey park manager Owen, Duncan has a real friend and any turmoil or discomfort is thrown right out the door. And while Rockwell is engaging enough, if you’ve seen Bill Murray in MEATBALLS the performance, a cross between a game show host and your favorite uncle, seems as retro as the Tough Skin jeans, REO Speedwagon or other nostalgic bits of pop culture references thrown in to make the present time more reflective in nature.

A sulky, one-dimensional Liam James, as Duncan, makes for a dull protagonist. With a cool summer job, an even cooler mentor and a hot blonde living next door, it's difficult (if impossible) feeling sorry for a kid with so many options.
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