A soulless drama, Ben Is Back Is terribly out of balance as it struggles with an aimless narrative and weak script that leave viewers completely baffled. Despite a decent performance from Lucas Hedges, the movie couldn’t come together due to its poor execution.
First off I have to say that I didn’t want this movie to be a disappointment as I was looking forward to watching Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges team up for this one, but unfortunately it was. It’s really difficult to enjoy a movie that has no sense of direction because it loses your interest from early on. ‘Ben is Back’ follows a drug addicted teenage boy’s return home on Christmas Eve while facing a dangerous situation that could impact everyone around him.
Though some performances in the film were decent, most of them were overacted which really made them hard to be taken seriously, especially in pivotal situations. Julia Roberts, one of the most renowned actresses in Hollywood today unfortunately delivers a mediocre performance which I don’t blame her for, as her various other works prove what a talented actress she is. Instead I believe that Peter Hedges directed his actors poorly, set up some really sloppy shots and wrote a weak script.
Again, this is yet another movie that deals with the subject of drug addiction and its effects on family, so typically it should allow viewers to understand its characters or even connect emotionally but none of that is present here. The film also forces in many events to allow its story to flow. The chemistry shared between Hedges and Roberts is really strange as awkward dialogue and interactions are abundantly present. This film could’ve had a better outcome but was plagued by its many faults. It’s too bad that such talent went to waste!