The Comeback Trail

Max Barber (Robert de Niro) and his nephew Walter Creason (Zach Braff) are film producers in Hollywood. None of their films recover their investment. Max wants to make another film to set-off the losses of the previous one and the cycle continues. Reggie Fontaine (Morgan Freeman) is an influential investor who lends money to film producers like Max. But he has had enough of it with the duo and demands that this entire loan be returned, or he is going to kill them off. Max is forced by James Moore (Emile Hirsch) to give him a script which is close to the former’s heart to which he will pay him enough and more so he can cover his debts with Reggie. Reluctantly, Max decides to sell the script. 


At the first day of the shoot, Frank Pierce (Patrick Muldoon) falls off the terrace of the building where the filming is planned. James has “insured” any such unfortunate outcome and hence gets paid in millions. The film is trashed, while James gets his insurance. Max decides to cancel the sale-agreement with James for his script. Instead, he goes around to an old-age home to find a cast for his next film, who would get killed & die on the first day of the shoot. And with the insurance money, he would pay off Reggie. 


He finds, to his surprise none other than Duke Montanna (Tommy Lee Jones), a yesteryear hero, who is depressed at the old-age home and is on the verge of suicide. Max convinces Duke to take up the project and they both decide to bring on Megan Albert (Kate Katzman) as the Director. Filming begins and Max is ready with a particular sequence by which Duke would get killed. Not one, but several attempts through the filming, Duke doesn’t die, rather shines and bounces every other time. 


Eventually, Reggie comes to know that Duke is a cat with 9 lives and decides to kill him at the movie set.  That’s when Max shows him how the film has come up and Reggie agrees for the film to be completed and screen. Max earns a lot of money and critical acclaim for the film, while Duke lives on to say why he was once-upon-a-time the action hero of his times.




The film is set in the 1980s and the sets are reminiscent of the times bygone, especially in Hollywood. It is difficult to say who among de Niro, Freeman and Lee Jones have outperformed each other. The movie also gives confidence to one, not to feel let down and to continue holding their own spirits. Eventually, each one of us will make it, after all. 

Watch on Amazon Prime. Suitable for family audience, including kids. 

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