HEREAFTER--directed by Clint Eastwood from a screenplay by Peter Morgan with Matt Damon, Cécile de France, and Frankie and George McLaren as Marcus and Jason. PG-13 2hr9min
(G) This movie was like starting a mountain climb at the top of the mountain. After the opening sequence (which was great) it was downhill from there. I wanted to see this one, mostly because I think that Matt Damon is one of the finest actors working today. He is as close to pure acting genius as America has offered since Brando, in my opinion. That aside, I have to also premise my remarks by saying that Barbara “told me so” on this one. She did not want to see it, and only went reluctantly because our daughter, Carla and I coerced her (Carla’s remarks may appear below, and/or on the podcast version of Bifocal Reviews).
That said, here are my impressions: As I said, the opening was riveting. It was one of the finest disaster film sequences I’ve ever witnessed. I still have no idea how it was accomplished, how much was where cgi, or where dangerous real-life stunts and animation departed. It was stunning and I was certain that I was about to witness the absolute best film of the year. In the very next sequence, I realized I was wrong. Every one of the supporting actors was miscast, so much so that I could barely take it seriously when two “well-known comedians” tried to pull off a serious “dead relative” conversation that introduced Matt Damon’s character. I kept waiting for the punch lines. No offense to Jay Mohr and Richard Kind.
The story comes off (for a variety of reasons) as disjointed and uninteresting. It was WAAAAYYY to slow and dry. Many following sequences, plot lines and story elements were completely unnecessary and obviously forced. There was really nothing “bold” about this film, after the opening…and the boldness only came in the blending of technical and human effects, not in story telling or content. I have to give this one only one and a half binoculars, and that is only for Damon and the female lead’s performances. The child star is also adequate, but there are too many other flaws.