DVD Movie Review: Aftermath
Date Viewed: June 8 2017
Directed By Elliott Lester (Blitz and Nightingale)
Written By Javier Gullón
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Scoot McNairy, Maggie Grace, Judah Nelson, Martin Donovan, Hannah Ware, Mariana Klaveno, Kevin Zegers, Glenn Morshower, Larry Sullivan and Teri Clark Linden.
Oh Arnold, this is what the "Aftermath" looks like when you terminate your "Celebrity Apprentice" hosting duties and bash Donald Trump by simply offering him to switch jobs. "Aftermath" is a drama so broody and very bleak, it feels unfocused and out of place. Arnold Schwarzenegger is trying very hard to be a compelling actor with dramatic range but he fails miserably thanks to a very weak screenplay. The first act of the movie is well drawn but the rest of "Aftermath" feels like it came from depressing therapy sessions.
Inspired by actual events, Arnold plays Roman Melnik, a construction foreman who delightfully gets out of work early because his wife and daughter are coming to visit him. Unfortunately for Roman he gets very sad news, his wife and daughter were killed in a devastating plane crash. Their plane colluded with another plane, both aircrafts crashed into the ground and there are no survivors.
Next we cut to another stranger, Jacob "Jake" Bonanos (Scoot McNairy), the air traffic controller who's labeled responsible for this major airplane collusion and he too is also devastated. Jake blames himself for the deaths of all 271 passengers who were on board those two flights and he slips into a deep depression. His depressed state is so deep, he doesn't know how to cook scrambled eggs and it also takes a toll on his wife, Christina (Maggie Grace) and son, Samuel. The fatal air traffic error not only destroys Jake's life, his house gets sprayed with words such as killer and murderer. Meanwhile, as Roman grieves over the deaths of his wife and daughter, he only has one motive now and that is revenge.
Director Elliott Lester's (Blitz and Nightingale) film does have emotional tendencies but what's missing here is character development and a real story that knows how to deal with guilt and self-pity well. We all know that the former governor of California is trying to win the public back by making small, devastatingly grim dramas but "Aftermath" is the kind of low-rent film you would normally find at your local pharmacy or grocery store for $9.99.
Don't get down on your luck Arnold, you just need to "GET TO THE CHOPPA!" and find scripts that will value your dramatic chops.