HEREAFTER

Matt Damon in Hereafter.
Matt Damon in Hereafter.
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(12A) 129mins

Director: Clint Eastwood

Starring: Matt Damon, Cecile de France, George McLaren

WITH Clint Eastwood (director), Steve Spielberg (a producer) and Matt Damon on board, this movie should have been a cracker - instead it’s a damp squib.

As you would guess from the title it’s about three separate characters involved with what happens after death - or troubled by mortality as the poster says.

Damon is a former famous psychic who couldn’t cope and now works on a building site. Cecile de France is a TV reporter who dies for a few seconds following a tsunami and McLaren is a young boy whose twin brother is wiped out by a white van man.

Their struggles are followed until their lives finally cross for the film’s finale.

The good points are: Damon’s performance is pretty good and proves he doesn’t have to be beating people up or shooting them to front a film. Cecile de France is a quality actress who deserves more appearances outside her own country.

And that’s about it.

While I wasn’t tempted to walk out, the overall feeling was of disappointment.

As one of the main characters young George McLaren has just too much weight to carry and isn’t strong enough. To be fair it would have needed someone extraordinary to have provided the punch the role needed.

The interspersing of the stories seems laboured and I was left wondering just where the story was going.

Life after death is an emotive subject and it seems the movie is scared to come off the fence, instead pointing out all the nonsense that is claimed by ‘visionaries’ and scientists.

Then we are left to believe Damon’s character has the answers - but it all seems pretty unconvincing.

The final scenes just felt like someone said ‘Let’s not leave the audience too depressed’ and tried to cheer everyone up.

A shame really as the tsunami sequence is probably one of the best opening scenes.

two out of five stars

Steve Payne