The Comeback Trail – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film full of everything I should love in cinema, but it felt hollow and more than a bit mean.   

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

The Comeback Trail. Image Credit: Madman Films.

The Comeback Trail Review

There are times when you watch a film, there are certain aspects of cinema that start to stand out, and one of them is that Hollywood loves stories about Hollywood. They love films about films being made like in Dolemite Is My Name, films about washed-up actors like in Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood, even better films about Hollywood coming into rescue everyone like in Argo. Today we get a film that falls into this category but unfortunately fails at nearly every point.  

So to set the scene, uncle Max Barber (Robert De Niro) and nephew Walter Creason (Zach Braff) are movie producers … and not very good ones at that. With their latest film about sexy mob Nuns being protested by the Catholic Church. The issue is that Walter borrowed $350,000 from local mobster Reggie Fontaine (Morgan Freeman) who is now VERY concerned that he is not going to see his money back. On a short timeframe to get all the money back, Walter gets the idea for a scam after tragedy strikes the production of fellow producer James ‘Jimmy’ Moore (Emile Hirsch). He hires a washed-up Western actor Duke Montana (Tommy Lee Jones) in his next film, dumps a lot of insurance on him, and then waits for the money to come rolling in.    

The Comeback Trail. Image Credit: Madman Films.
One of the real strengths of this film is the acting. Image Credit: Madman Films.

There are times when you watch a film, there are certain aspects of cinema that start to stand out, and one of them is that Hollywood loves stories about Hollywood. They love films about films being made like in Dolemite Is My Name, films about washed-up actors like in Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood, even better films about Hollywood coming into rescue everyone like in Argo. Today we get a film that falls into this category but unfortunately fails at nearly every point.  

So to set the scene, uncle Max Barber (Robert De Niro) and nephew Walter Creason (Zach Braff) are movie producers … and not very good ones at that. With their latest film about sexy mob Nuns being protested by the Catholic Church. The issue is that Walter borrowed $350,000 from local mobster Reggie Fontaine (Morgan Freeman) who is now VERY concerned that he is not going to see his money back. On a short timeframe to get all the money back, Walter gets the idea for a scam after tragedy strikes the production of fellow producer James ‘Jimmy’ Moore (Emile Hirsch). He hires a washed-up Western actor Duke Montana (Tommy Lee Jones) in his next film, dumps a lot of insurance on him, and then waits for the money to come rolling in.    

The Comeback Trail. Image Credit: Madman Films.
Unfortunately it has woven its narrative around a story that is hollow. Image Credit: Madman Films.

Then there is also the section about the film that focuses on the filming. At first, it was fun, they go to a set that I am sure I have seen in many movies, there was all the old-timey equipment that is always fun to see, and we even get a good old fashioned Texas Switch. However, the more time we spend there, the more of a disconnect that becomes created. They go to incredible length to show the one camera they are using in the shoot, but the footage they show is from much more modern equipment. As well as this, the footage is from angles that the production company just could not have gotten. This disconnect only adds another level of frustration to the film.

In the end, do we recommend The Comeback Trail? Honestly, no, no, we cannot. It is a film about awful people doing things to each other and innocent getting caught in the crossfire. Even when you see the ending coming, it does not help. If you liked the Comeback Trail, I would also recommend The Magnificent Seven (2016).     

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you watched The Comeback Trail?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias, and you can follow us
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Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Comeback Trail
Directed by
–     George Gallo
Screenplay by – George Gallo & Josh Posner
Based on – The Comeback Trail by Harry Hurwitz
Music by – Aldo Shllaku
Cinematography by – Lukasz Bielan
Edited by – John M. Vitale
Production/Distribution Companies – Storyboard Media, March On Productions, Alla Prima, Rapid Farms Productions & Madman
Starring – Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones, Emile Hirsch, Zach Braff, Malcolm Barrett, Patrick Muldoon, Eddie Griffin, Natalie Burn, Kate Katzman, Vincent Spano, Leslie Stratton, Nick Vallelonga, Michelle Maylene, Julie Lott, Josefine Lindegaard, Jermaine Washington, Blerim Destani,  Joel Michaely & Ekaterina Baker           
Rating – Australia: M; United States: R

                      

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