review Bobby Blakey
It has really bummed me out as a fan that since his return to the action genre that Schwarzenegger hasn’t had the support he deserves. I have really enjoyed most of what he has put out and really dig some of his new choices of roles. His turn in the zombie thriller/drama Maggie was excellent and he looks to continue taking on these more interesting roles with his latest film Aftermath co-starring Scoot McNairy and Maggie Grace. Could this be yet another great addition to this new direction of his career or will it crash and burn before landing?
Aftermath follows the story of guilt and revenge after an air traffic controller’s error causes the death of a construction foreman’s wife and daughter that inextricably binds them together. This film is based on an airline accident that occurred in 2002 and the events that took place afterwards and while not an action packed vehicle for Schwarzenegger still manages to give him something to showcase. Much like Maggie, this film allows Schwarzenegger to flex his acting chops and while some might not think much of that he has proven with Maggie and now here that he has found his dramatic flare. Sure it’s hard to always take him seriously because fans want the cheesy one liners and head smashing we are used to, but he has really stepped up his game. He has so many moments here that you can just feel the pain in his expressions and I applaud him for not trying to go over the top with it and just playing to his own strengths. Scoot McNairy brings his own great performance to the other side of the tale making them both characters you can relate to with neither really being bad.
While this film is following his story it is not just him that is the focal point. This is a dual story of two men struggling with dealing with the events that took place and how it not only changed who you they are but their lives forever. I loved that this film didn’t really have a villain, but instead just a horrific mistake that affects them both. IT’s rare you get a film like this where you can understand what both characters are going through and sympathize with them both. This dynamic creates a slow burn drama that works to tell their story without ever feeling like they were trying to force some Hollywood drivel on it. There are some pretty predictable moments here and there, but overall the film delivers an emotionally journey that will no doubt surprise fans of Schwarzenegger.
Early moments of the film felt a bit off and the predictable direction it goes at times could have been better handled, but the story is the story and I really enjoyed this film. I am so happy seeing Schwarzenegger taking on more diverse roles and hope this continues. In addition to the film this release also includes a trailer gallery, commentary and interviews.
Grab your copy of Aftermath available on Blu-ray and DVD on June 6th from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.