The Boys Are Back

Rated 2.0

Clive Owen is an actor who possesses significant charisma and an aloof cool, so who’s the asshole who keeps casting him in impersonal action movies and fatuous tear-jerkers like Scott Hick’s bio-dud The Boys Are Back. Owen plays Joe Warr (a rewrite of Simon Carr, from whose memoir the film is, for lack of a better word, adapted), an Australian sportswriter whose life falls apart when his second wife dies of cancer, leaving him alone to bring up his two sons. With a dearth of female influences around, the house becomes a veritable Lost Boys playhouse, as the grieving Joe cultivates a parental strategy of such unrestricted, cathartic freedom that it borders on abuse. For some reason never made clear to the viewer, Hicks (Shine) regards all of this as noble and endearing.