(US/UK - 2017)
Directed by Elliott Lester. Written by Javier Gullon. Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Scoot McNairy, Maggie Grace, Martin Donovan, Judah Nelson, Kevin Zegers, Larry Sullivan, Glenn Morshower, Hannah Ware, Jason McCune, Mo McRae, Mariana Klaveno, Christopher Darga, Lewis James Pullman. (R, 93 mins)
Though he's now in the William Shatner self-deprecation phase of his career, Jean-Claude Van Damme very quietly established himself as a capable actor in a series of above-average and under-the-radar straight-to-DVD action movies throughout the '00s. In a similarly stealth fashion, in addition to action fare like the EXPENDABLES movies, THE LAST STAND, and ESCAPE PLAN, a post-Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger has made attempts to turn into a serious dramatic actor in a pair of low-profile departures when no one was looking. First was 2015's MAGGIE, a straight-faced zombie apocalypse saga where Arnold played a loving father determined to hold on to the shred of humanity in his teenage daughter after she's turned into one of the walking dead. And now, the grim drama AFTERMATH gives the nearly-70-year-old former action hero a chance to further stretch outside his comfort zone. Written by Javier Gullon (ENEMY) and counting Darren Aronofsky (BLACK SWAN) among its 27 credited producers, AFTERMATH is inspired by the story of Vitaly Kaloyev, a Russian man whose wife and two children were killed when two planes collided over Germany in the summer of 2002. He blamed supervising air traffic controller Peter Nielsen, who retired from his job and moved away but two years later, Kaloyev, still consumed by grief and rage, tracked him down to a small town in Switzerland, showed up at his front door, and stabbed him to death in front of his family.