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Times of India
A fatal plane crash changes the lives of Roman (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Jake (Scoot McNairy) forever. Roman loses his wife and daughter in the accident, while Jake, his mind as he happens to be the air traffic controller, who fails to avert the nightmare. Rage and revenge engulfs Roman and Jake finds himself swamped with guilt and regret. Can the two make peace with the past?
Director Elliott Lester tries his best to make this film (said to be inspired by true events) look like a psychological thriller. He even succeeds to a certain extent as there’s an air of melancholy, uncertainty and ambiguity throughout. Sadly, that’s not enough to hold your attention.
Lester struggles to convert his compelling two-line story idea into a full-fledged feature film that strikes a chord with the audience. The wafer-thin plot runs out of steam and so does our patience, as we try to decode Roman and Jake’s behaviour and train of thought. While the execution lures you into closely observing and studying these two characters and their differing mind-set, the screenplay fails to move you beyond that. You don’t feel emotionally attached or invested in them.
To make things worse, Schwarzenegger (who doubles up as a co-producer here) seems brazenly uninvolved. He sleepwalks through the role and contributes heavily in turning the film into a sleep-inducing drama, which rides on misery. McNairy however, is convincing and infuses life and soul into the otherwise drab and overstretched proceeding. But given the nature of the film, he alone cannot salvage this stagnant emotional fare.
Aftermath, with its promising premise, could have been an intense drama but what you get instead is a wandering, forgettable story that reeks of nothingness.
The film is based on the real-life crash of Bashkirian Airlines Flight 2937 and DHL Flight 611 that occurred over the town of Überlingen, Germany on July 1, 2002.
Maggie Grace is originally from Columbus, where the movie was shot.