The Way Back (12A, 132 mins)
Director: Peter Weir ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Inspired by the real life tale of a small group of prisoners who escaped a Siberian gulag early in WWII and walked all the way to India, this is a sort of Great Escape: What Happened Next. Facing certain death, the men break out of the camp prepared for a trek of many months, among them a Pole (Jim Sturgess), an American (Ed Harris) and Colin Farrell’s Russian psycho. This leads to a plodding midsection that threatens to become repetitive through endless cycles of watching them walk for a bit, camp for a bit then walk some more as they battle hunger and thirst through deserts, forests and mountains. It’s solid, handsomely mounted and on an epic scale, but there isn’t a great deal of meat to the drama, nor any particular tension, though the three stars offer commanding portrayals of characters of limited interest.