Aftermath (2017)

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Elliott Lester directs Arnold Schwarzenegger, Scoot McNairy and Maggie Grace in this ‘based on a true story’ drama about a widower and an air traffic controller recovering from a devastating plane crash, both of whom holding the latter responsible for the disaster.

A cold, distant, relatively slight procedural look at what happens after a modern aviation tragedy. It is not the meatiest or most complex of cinematic dramas but it has a gripping sense of building suspense and career best turn for Arnie. He kinda has squandered his recent comeback with well made but uninspired product. Sensibly, he should have looked for supporting roles in franchise fare (imagine him as the King of  Atlantis in the upcoming Aquaman movie or having the fun that Kurt Russell does in his Fast and Furious cameos) but instead pursued leads in projects of an unprofitable scale. Oh well… here he is fantastic, both as an actor and a signifier. His importance to a generation of movie goers means the grief he elegantly conveys is devastating. Not to belittle his achievements here but watching The Terminator blankly staring into the abyss of a lifeless house strewn with takeaway boxes is the visual equivalent of watching Big Bird coming to terms with a terrorist attack on Sesame Street. If you are the right age, it is emotionally wrenching in its unexpectedly surreal horror.

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