By: Henry J. Fromage (Five Beers) –
Like a favorite uncle, I never imagined Clint Eastwood would do this to me.Sure, some parts of Invictus were like catching Uncle Bill with a picture of you in your underwear, but they seemed like they had simple, harmless explanations.Then Hereafter happens, and you know you’ll never fully trust anything else ever again.
The first beer is a kind of toast to what might have been.You’ve got Oscar heavyweights Eastwood, screenwriter Peter Morgan, and Matt Daaaymon tackling a subject that we all wonder about to some extent, the question of life after death.Damon and Cecille de France give solid if not quite good performances and the camerawork and direction are the steady level we’ve gotten used to from Eastwood.The movie begins with a pretty sweet CGI disaster, definitely not the director’s forte, but it turns out to be easily the best part of the film.
For the rest of it, you may prefer to deliver the beers by striking them against your head to dull the outrage.The nearly hypnotic dialogue mixed with the sandman’s song that is the soundtrack work together to put you in a daze so deep that you begin to wonder whether you’ll ever get out again.This isn’t helped by the fact that after the first 20 minutes, nothing else happens… nothing.
This movie is the most effective argument against suicide I’ve ever seen.At least there are alternatives to standing around staring at each other silently in real life.You’d want to kill yourself about three hours into eternity, but I’m assuming you can’t… which I guess makes it hell.
Another beer must go to Dallas Bryce Howard.While usually both attractive and talented, for some reason she plays this role as a desperate creeper.
Even before she dissolves into the hysterics you know are coming you’re done with her.If Matt Damon had the same amount of discernment the movie would have been a lot more tolerable.
The question of life after death is as open-ended and liberated as you could wish.You can do just about anything you can imagine as an artist when trying to describe the afterlife, and even if you take one particular view you can still run with it nearly forever.So, why do we get something that’s so bland and derivative that it makes Bea Arthur look like a porn star.
Bonus disturbing old woman picture!
Still, after all this the movie is redeemable.It offers some interesting interpretations towards the end depending on whether you think Damon’s been faking it the whole time and the ability of children to be dicks in the afterlife.Just when you’re wondering if it was worth it after all, Clint Eastwood tries to touch your naughty parts.
In an entirely unnecessary deus ex machina Damon and de France’s characters come together in, as my friend described it, When Harry Meets Sally meets Death.A movie that’s been dark and contemplative for two long hours ends with a sappy audience pleaser, proving one thing… Clint Eastwood is finally turning into an old person.
Don’t watch it.Do yourself and Clint Eastwood a favor and forget this ever happened.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time someone has a dream or vision
Take a Drink: every time someone says “death” or “afterlife”
Drink a Shot: whenever Dallas Bryce Howard has crazy in her eyes