When not playing assassins and brooding conspiratorialists, Clive Owen has adopted a side gig as the sappy, maudlin, emotional train wreck guy. As in 2004’s Closer and 2006’s Children of Men, Owen’s work in director Scott Hicks’ adaptation of Simon Carr’s similarly titled novel is a case study in the overuse of an intrinsically interesting actor’s ability to stare meaningfully into the camera for hours on end.
In The Boys Are Back, Owen plays a recently widowed single father of two who is navigating the reefs and shoals of parenthood with the help of his dearly departed lover’s ghost. If it sounds soapy, that’s because it is. Hicks relies far too heavily on Owen’s cache, and the resulting histrionics are tedious in the extreme.Even fans of ridiculously dramatic nonsense will likely be bored by this latest installment of eyelash batting on Owen’s part. Nicholas McAnulty’s turn as the ostensibly charming and eccentric youngest son adds next to nothing to the film. If nothing else, the pair seems to be equally matched in their ability to induce sleep.
At any rate, hopefully the poor box office returns of Owen’s intermittent touchy-feely roles will keep him focused on his far superior performances as an action hero.
Source: Prague Post