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Arnold deserved a better plot: Rashid Irani’s review of Aftermath

Schwarzenegger plays a distraught family man intent on revenge after his wife and daughter die in a plane crash.

movie reviews Updated: Apr 14, 2017 15:29 IST
Rashid Irani
Rashid Irani
Hindustan Times
True story,Tragedy,Plane crash
The veteran action star works hard to replace his usual chest-thumping with genuine emotion. Sadly, he is let down by a movie full of predictable twists and empty symbolism.


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.

When the grief-stricken husband/father meets the airt traffic controller who was on duty at the time of the crash, further tragedy follows... periodically, jets criss-cross overhead. Sigh.

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

First Published: Apr 14, 2017 15:29 IST