Movie Review: Hereafter

Posted: October 24, 2010 in movie reviews
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Clint Eastwood likes to take it slow….Okay, so I’ve had that thought ever since I got out of the movie yesterday and I just had to share that gem of a phrase with you. I saw two movies this weekend. Here’s the first review…



Title: Hereafter

Players: Matt Damon, Jay Mohr, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ceclie de France, and some other people.

Initial Impression Before Watching It: I don’t really know what it’s about, but Matt Damon’s storyline about him being a former psychic seemed intriguing. The Tsunami, dream-like quality, in the trailer, was confusing especially when seeing a dead woman floating in the water, then seeing her walking around after. I was unsure about that plot point, but willing to give it a chance.

What the movie is actually about: It’s actually three different stories lives, on a crash course to merge with each other by the end of the story. I know of reviews that have been describing it as another Babel. Rottentomatoes describes it as: “A supernatural thriller centered on three people — a blue-collar American, a French journalist and a London school boy — who are touched by death in different ways.” I don’t know if I’d actually call it a “supernatural thriller”, more like a supernatural drama.


My Review: Since the movie is going to break it down in three parts, I’m going to review it in three parts.

First, Matt Damon’s part. George (Matt Damon) is a psychic, stemming from a botched brain surgery when he was little. He can make these “connections” that help him to talk to loved ones deceased. He and his brother used to exploit his “gifts”, by charging money for readings, writing books, and setting up websites. And even after deserting that lifestyle, his brother still finds ways to drag George  (Jay Mohr) back into his his old lifestyle. George just wants to be a regular person. His gift is not a gift, but a curse.

Then there’s a political french reporter, Marie, and her lover who’s also her boss. They are vacationing somewhere, Mexico? Thailand? Brazil, I forget, but all of the sudden out of no where there’s this huge tsunami. I can’t imagine watching an impending Tsunami building and building in the waters as you watch from your Hotel room. While it seems scary, it’s also a pretty damn amazing sight. But as amazing as it is, it’s also destructive, destroying everything in its sight. Cars, people, buildings are now all weapons of mass destruction, knocking people off their feet and probably to their impending deaths. Marie struggles in the chaos, and she’s a fighter. First trying to save a little girl, only to be attacked by a desk that proceedes to drag her down. She however frees herself from the weight and brings herself to the surface only to be hit in the back with a car. Now how she survived this, I’ll never know. That car, in reality, should have broken her in half. But somehow, through CPR, she’s brought back from the brink of death. And the brink of death is apparently a space of a bright light with dark shadows mulling about. The same place George goes to in order to communicate with the dead.

Thirdly we meet two cute twin boys with an alcoholic mother. Now already this story has DOOM all over it seeing as how the two boys are so CLOSE to each other, and their mother is such a mess they have to take care of her. Of course, something awful happens. The older brother, the caretaker brother, is killed and the younger, quieter brother is forced to figure out how to survive without his brother – with essentially nothing. But he can’t, he’s holding onto his brother so tightly. And the only thing that seems to keep him going is his search to find out exactly where his brother went.

At the end these three stories converge, though I feel like it took a really long time for it to get there. Like I said, Clint Eastwood sure likes to take his time. Matt Damon’s story is the most interesting and moves along nicely. But I feel like the other two stories drag on. By the time the three get together everything feels rushed until it’s all over and you go away thinking, “No, you’re not ending like that, Are you? That’s it?” I wanted to know more at that point. That’s where things were starting to pick up, but I guess you can say that about many shows. Sometimes they end just at the brink of where things could get interesting again.

All in all, I feel like this is the kind of movie that would be nice to watch at home, on video, on a rainy day, curled up in a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa. The acting – for the most part was fantastic. Except for Bryce Dallas Howard, who I felt was a little needy, and over dramatic, and frankly I know we were supposed to like her character, but I just didn’t. Or WERE WE? Humph. The Cinematography was pretty, if drab, but that’s usually what you get with Clint.


Overall grade: C+


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