Light and entertaining, The Comeback Trail is one of those feel-good movies good for one viewing. It tells a story of a swindling movie producer and the star of his next movie, a has-been actor with a death wish. It’s based on the movie of the same name from 1982. I doubt they wanted to do a frame for frame remake so the disjointed last thirty minutes cannot be excused. They had a couple of good cards, played them early, and wound up with a messy ending. Luckily, the ensemble cast was here to save the day. De Niro, Jones, and Morgan fucking Freeman were all terrific. And finally, we got the opportunity to see Zach Braff in something relatively big.
The Comeback Trail features silly and cartoonish action and a decent amount of gags. With a breezy atmosphere and plot that’s incredibly easy to follow, you can get fucked up on anything you want and still know what’s going on. And you’ll need something to make this an enjoyable experience. At least a couple of beers otherwise just know that this is one of those mainstream timewasters. So, if you’re looking for some quality time or a well-crafted masterpiece, better skip this one. If, however, you’re looking to kill ninety minutes with a couple of chuckles and cool scenes, well, then this is the movie for you. Also, you might want to skip the trailer and any additional information and just jump into this one.
Welcome to the seventies, the age of exploitation movies. Meet Max Barber, a sleazy film producer making these low-budget movies usually with his kind-hearted nephew Walter. Their latest feature, Killer Nuns didn’t sell any tickets whatsoever. Mostly because the priesthood picketed the premiere. Max is now in deep shit, as he owes a hefty sum of money to a dangerous gangster Reggie Fontaine. However, Max has a plan that’s going to make him millions.
One of the redeeming qualities The Comeback Trail has to offer is an inside look into the production of a movie. The relationships between producers, actors, and director along with a whole slew of problems popping up constantly was quite entertaining. When you add to this very vibrant and rich cinematography you get a pretty decent comedy. With an R-rating, I was expecting a bit edgier humor and at least some nudity. What we got, in the end, is your safe mainstream comedy sprinkled with a bit of black humor. Finally, if you’re looking for similar movies, I recommend you check out both versions of The Producers written by immortal Mel Brooks. There’s the original movie from 1967 starring Gene Wilder and the 2005 remake with Matthew Broderick, Will Ferrell, and Uma Thurman.
And you can, of course, check out our Rabbit Reviews selection of western movies. Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Berberian Sound Studio, an obscure comedy focused on a sound engineer hired to work on a movie incredibly similar to Killer Nuns, The Equestrian Vortex. What nuns have to do with this is up to you to find out. Enjoy.
Director: George Gallo
Writers: George Gallo, Josh Posner, Harry Hurwitz
Cast: Robert De Niro, Tommy Lee Jones, Morgan Freeman, Zach Braff, Emile Hirsch, Kate Katzman, Eddie Griffin