One of the simple truths of life is that no one is ever prepared for tragedy. When faced with it, it’s impossible to predict if one’s reaction will be of sadness or of anger; if one will sink into oneself and hide or if they’ll go on the warpath for retribution. Both circumstances are presented in this painful drama surrounding an aeroplane collision and the aftermath of the incident.
Based on true events, Aftermath is the story of a mid-air collision that occurred as the result of faulty communication between two flights and the responsible air traffic controller, Jake. As Jake’s mental health begins to spiral in the days following the crash, we are introduced to Roman, an architect whose wife and pregnant daughter were killed in the accident. As Jake begins to rebuild his life, Roman is unable to do the same. When no one steps forward to claim responsibility for the violent death of his family, he takes it upon himself to exact revenge on the one man he feels is personally responsible.
Where this feature truly succeeds is in the stunning performances from an unexpected cast. Everyone’s favourite action star surprises with a heartbreaking performance as the devastated father, Roman. Schwarzenegger deviates from his usual style and delivers a touching, genuine portrait of a man coping with extreme grief. His counterpart, Scoot McNairy similarly wows as the tormented Jake, and Maggie Grace rounds out the cast with a beautiful performance as Christina, Jake’s wife, who tries desperately to hold together her family in the wake of disaster.
The only shortcoming of Aftermath is that, for a film that’s billed as an action-drama fusion, it lacks in the action department. When we’re seeing the plane crash, there is an expectation that viewers are going to witness some War of the Worlds-like wreckage and they simply never do. The shots of the planes falling are modest in scope and limited in number. Moments of peak tension never explode in the way that satisfies the built-up anticipation. Although the movie doesn’t lend itself to traditional action setups and resolutions, it would have been nice to see an equal commitment to both genres.
Aftermath is released nationwide on 7th April 2017.
Watch the trailer for Aftermath here: