I was looking for a decent film to watch that I’d not seen before and was flicking through the usual suspects, I know I’ve reviewed a few zombie flicks of sorts too so I thought I’d move away from that when I spotted a film featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Generally speaking I do enjoy a good Arni flick so I went for it.
Aftermath was released in April 2017, it’s a Drama-Thriller set in 2002 based on real life events and people that were involved in the Überlingen mid-air collision although it’s been adapted with names, nationalities and even location changed for the film but many of the events remained true to reality.
The film was produced on a budget of $10.5m and grossed $674,238 at the box office, it was then released to video on demand. The film was criticised by Vitaly Kaloyev, the man whose memories the film is made on and who the main character is based on. His main frustrations were that he wasn’t looking for an apology and that the man who’d been in the tower at the time of the collision wasn’t remorseful at all. The film has a 41% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Roman Melnyk (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is allowed to finish his shift early to go and meet his pregnant wife and his daughter at the airport, unfortunately they never arrived. The film cuts between Roman finishing work and the attendants in the air traffic control tower who are monitoring the flights, one heads down to get some tea leaving Jacob “Jake” Bonanos (Sccot McNairy) alone in the tower as an engineer comes to work on the phone system. Jake is seen jumping between monitors without his headset and we’re able to hear the messages he misses including one that states one of the aircraft is going to descend based TCAS system, despite being told to wait for Jake’s command.
Throughout the film we switch between the two perspectives, Jake is a father and husband who now has his life turned upside down, his home is vandalised and he even begins to have a nervous breakdown. Roman on the other hand is distraught at the loss of his family, the airline offers Roman compensation in a very callous manor but Roman states he just wants someone to take ownership and for an apology.
Jake is advised to move to another state and change his identity, he does this as his marriage breaks down as he continues to work to rectify his life. He is found innocent of any wrongdoing and tries to move forward, meanwhile a journalist manages to find Jake’s new identity as well as the state he now lives in which she passes to Roman but tells him not to do anything stupid or illegal with it.
Roman decides not to take this advice and as we see Jake’s family arrive at his new apartment and begin to attempt to piece together their shattered lives and relationships Roman arrives there too. He knocks on the door and is greeted by Jake who tries to usher him on, Roman will not budge and then slits Jake’s throat. Jake’s wife sees and is left mortified as the blood pours from the body.
It’s a decent storyline but it’s poorly presented, in fact I was really disappointed with the whole film. The execution was weak, there felt like a complete emotional detachment and I was left feeling like I’d completely wasted an hour and a half of my life. I wouldn’t recommend this film.