When you look over to your right and seeing someone snoring during the screening of a film, it’s never a good sign. When you are exiting the theater and someone behind you states: “this makes two of Matt Damon’s movies that are among the worst I’ve ever seen,” things can’t be much bleaker. Such is the case with the new Clint Eastwood directed, Matt Damon starring snoozefest, Hereafter. It’s a movie I had designs on walking out of, and believe me, I never walk out of films.
Hereafter is about retired psychic George Lonegan (Damon), who has trouble dealing with his visions and thus causes difficulties in his interactions with others. His pesky brother Billy continuously is on him about cashing in on his gift, whereas George sees it as a curse.
Overseas, two storylines will intersect with George’s in a bizarre way. One involves a French political reporter named Marie, who had a near death experience during a horribly acted CGI storm, while the other is about a young boy Marcus, who loses his brother in a tragic accident.
The three subplots play out separately. In George’s life, he deals with Billy’s advances and an apparent hope for love in the states. In Marie’s, she has curiosities surrounding her experience, which leads to professional trouble. For poor Marcus, he misses his brother, which is compounded by the fact that his mom is a dope fiend. Stop me when it gets exciting.
You didn’t stop me? No surprise. The movie plods along at an atrocious snail’s pace and when you are hoping for a major reveal, none happen. Eventually, George comes into the lives of the others, but if you were hoping for some sort of catharsis for any of the characters, be prepared to be let down – severely. Everything is so stiff and contrived, its ugly.
This is (at least) the third straight movie from Eastwood which has failed to deliver. His previous Damon led film, 2009’s Invictus, didn’t materialize into much and 2008’s Gran Torino suffered from some of the same issues here, with its wooden acting and unmoving storylines. The clock is officially ticking for the icon, who made incredibly strong films within the last decade in 2003’s Mystic River and 2004’s Million Dollar Baby. Highly disappointing.
As for Hereafter, there isn’t much positive to report, the director at times shows touch, but the source material written by Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon) is so poor, it leaves little option for the tree to bear any fruit. It’s the type of film you hope would never get made, or at least one that with lesser names involved, would go direct to video. Not only can I not recommend this for the big screen, I don’t recommend it for a Netflix rental. Just stay away and discover the hereafter on your own when the time comes.