Director: Elliott Lester
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Scoot McNairy, Maggie Grace
Release Date: June 6, 2017
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
Roman’s (Schwarzenegger) life changes forever when he loses his wife and daughter in a plane crash. He attempts to move on from the tragedy but soon finds that he cannot face life without confronting Jake (Scoot McNairy), the air traffic controller responsible for the accident.
Inspired by true events, ‘Aftermath’ follows the lives of two men on opposite sides of a tragedy which subsequently sends the two on a slow course toward each other. Roman (Schwarzenegger) is a hard working and decent man whose wife and pregnant daughter are killed in a sudden midair plane collision en route to see him which sends Roman down a spiraling path of loss and suffering as he finds himself struggling to cope with the unexpected tragedy. Jake (McNairy) is a kind, family man himself who is unfortunate enough to be the sole air traffic controller on duty and when phone repairs and tackling all necessary tasks alone results in a collision that takes the lives of hundreds (Roman’s family among them) he finds himself attacked, lost and slowly losing touch as he is unable to deal with the tragedy which he feels largely responsible for. As time begins to pass and each think they might have taken the right steps to begin anew and put this tragic event behind them, Roman soon discovers that he is simply unable to move on and determines that his only chance at closure is to confront the man he believes to be most directly responsible for the loss of his family.
Directed by Elliott Lester (Blitz) from a screenplay written by Javier Gullón (Enemy), Lester does a wonderful job at the helm of ‘Aftermath’ guiding this tense and powerful dramatic thriller along with a perfectly fitting sense of both unease and calm beauty. The film also owes a fair share of the credit to the talented folks that comprise the cast and truly allow this remarkably human film to work as well as it does, including Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator), Scoot McNairy (Argo), Maggie Grace (Taken), Judah Nelson (Anchorman 2), Larry Sullivan (Straight Outta Compton) and Martin Donovan (Ant-Man) along with more, the majority all delivering solid performances in each of their respective roles, although Schwarzenegger and McNairy easily steal most of the scenes they occupy with their powerful portrayals of the two key characters.
‘Aftermath’ is a tense, powerful and emotionally riveting piece of filmmaking that oozes humanity and realism around each corner and forms into a truly magnificent film that will stick with you long after the credits roll. Exploring the lives of two very similar men on opposite ends of the same tragedy, it carefully delves into the existence and changes of each prior to, as well as during and after the accident, balancing the two sides of the story impressively as it dives into the pain, uncertainty and inability to accept this one moment that has so drastically changed the course of each man’s life, as well as that of those around him. It’s a beautiful, unsettling and uncompromisingly human tale of love, loss and the subsequent spiral that can occur following such a tragic and unexpected loss. Passionately guided by director Elliott Lester and only boosted all the more by the wonderful performances from leads Arnold Schwarzenegger and Scoot McNairy who are both at their very best. I would strongly urge anyone who appreciates a well crafted and executed thriller that’s painfully human and likely to stick with you to make a point of giving ‘Aftermath’ a chance when you have the opportunity to do so, you shouldn’t be disappointed with this powerful tale. Any fans of Arnold Schwarzenegger and/or Scoot McNairy will also definitely want to make sure to check this one out as both are at their finest here in the two leads.
Overall, ‘Aftermath’ is a remarkably human tale that will grab hold of you and not let go until the credits roll, and will almost surely stick with you for some time thereafter. It’s a gorgeous, painful and emotionally powerful ride that’s guided along beautifully by director Elliott Lester, and with noteworthy performances from both Schwarzenegger and McNairy it all forms into one phenomenal and unforgettable film. ‘Aftermath’ easily earns one of my higher recommendations, especially for fans of Schwarzenegger and McNairy, along with anyone who can appreciate a tense, realistic and just plain magnificent dramatic thriller that doesn’t hold its punches. It should definitely prove well worth the cost of a rental for anyone even the slightest interested in the film yet understandably hesitant to cough up the cash on a blind purchase.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Aftermath’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty great as a whole and provides a clean, detailed and smooth presentation from start to finish without any notable faults to be found within. It holds up admirably even during the many darkly lit sequences and never allows anything occurring on screen to become to negatively affected or rendered indiscernible at any point. Overall, this is a solid high definition video presentation that should largely please the masses.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack offers a crisp, clean and occasionally somewhat aggressive audio presentation throughout. It takes advantage of all five available channels in order to let the film’s fitting soundtrack immerse the viewer, along with sending some crowd chatter, nature elements and other auditory effects throughout the various speakers when needed, yet rarely ever bringing too much craziness in the audio department. Overall, this is a highly capable 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers in every way required of it and shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Aftermath’ includes a couple of worthwhile extras. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Elliot Lester and Producer Eric Watson’, in addition to ‘Interviews with Director Elliot Lester and Director Photography Pieter Vermeer’ (running approximately 7 minutes in length). The ‘Trailer’ (approximately 2 minutes) for the movie is also included.