Movie Review - Hereafter (*)


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Hereafter.  126 mins.  PG-13.  Directed by Clint Eastwood.  Written by Peter Morgan.  Starring Matt Damon, Ceciie De France, Jay Mohr, and Bryce Dallas Howard.
Audiences haven't been treated to such a somber, misguided mix of spiritual mumbo jumbo since Will Smith took a bath with a jellyfish in the excruciating Seven Pounds.  To say I hated Hereafter is an understatement.  I wanted to punch this movie in the face.  Clint Eastwood directs - that should be your first warning sign.  Don't get me wrong - Eastwood is a talented guy and generally makes movies that are worth seeing, even if he's waaaay overrated by critics.  But with Hereafter, he indulges in every single one of his worst indulgences.  The slow pacing, the lack of overt drama, that stupid same piano plunking music he scores for all of his movies.  I swear, if I never hear an Eastwood score again, it will be too soon.
Given that the movie is written by Peter Morgan, who did The Queen and Frost/Nixon, one would think the script would at least be thoughtful and engaging.  Nope.  Morgan just aims for a Babel-lite juggling of multiple stories that all kind of come together in the end.  The first story involves a female journalist who survives a deadly tsunami.  The second story features a young boy mourning the death of his twin brother.  The third stars Matt Damon as a weary psychic trying to give up the gig and move on with his life.  The most exciting part is when Damon and Bryce Dallas Howard (as a possible love interest) blindfold each other and taste test foods at their cooking class.
I like Damon, and he's fine here, but he needs to stop working with Eastwood or he's going to lose audience members who will actually pay money to see his movies.  Hereafter is the work of talented people, clearly floundering around on screen for 2+ hours.  The movie is a giant bore, true, but it's also emotionally empty and dramatically inert.  The afterlife has to be more exciting than what's portrayed here.  I don't care what you're looking for in a movie - thrills, chills, laughs, romance, drama - you're not going to find it in Hereafter.  A complete waste of time - and a largely worthless movie.  A strong candidate for worst of the year.

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  • Bryce Dallas Howard is really starting to bother me. Just wanted to put that out there.

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