Peter Weir's The Way Back is a well-mounted, impeccably-shot slog - a grueling survival study with a true story sheen about a hodge podge group of prisoners who walked 4,000 miles to freedom at the onset of World War II.
It's certainly commendable and well-fashioned and even a little moving, but the end result is something that's too one-note and too much about the trudge and filthiness of the journey, settling all too comfortably in a problem/solution, problem/solution groove.
Occasionally, the film's script (co-written by Weir himself) finds weight in the banality of survival, but ultimately it's just comprised of thin characterizations, flimsy backstories and creaky bonds of trust. The landscapes dwarf the performers (perhaps intentionally), but The Way Back is finally too reserved to take off. [C+]