Arnold deserved a better plot: Rashid Irani’s review of Aftermath
Direction: Elliott Lester
Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Scoot McNairy
Rating: 2 / 5
In 2002, all passengers died following a mid-air collision between two planes over German airspace. Aftermath is loosely based on this real-life tragedy, and casts action icon Arnold Schwarzenegger as a construction foreman who has lost his wife and daughter in the accident.
With none of his usual chest-thumping and flexing of muscles, the septuagenarian actor strives to stretch his dramatic abilities to play a distraught family man compelled to take matters into his own huge hands.
He turns down the financial compensation offered by the airline and goes into vengeance mode. Meanwhile, the air traffic controller (Scoot McNairy) who was on duty at the time is reduced to a guilt-ridden bundle of nerves.
As would be expected, the eventual confrontation between the two leads to further tragedy. The tacked-on coda is quite ludicrous.
While unraveling the conflict at a fairly rapid clip, director Elliott Lester indulges in far too many artsy slo-mos and overhead shots. Worse still is the misplaced symbolism of jets crisscrossing the skies at regular intervals.
Schwarzenegger and McNairy contribute credible performances, but both actors deserved better than this uneven, unmoving tale.
Watch the trailer for Aftermath here