You shouldn't be reading this review.
We should instead be on our knees, praying that Clint Eastwood doesn't pop his clogs without making another film; it would be very sad if this cinematic titan's last offering to the world was the half-baked claptrap that is Hereafter. It is emphatically not a good film.
So, seeing as we're not wasting any time, the good news:
- It features several actors who I'm happy to see getting some big-screen action, including:
- Steven R Schirripa (Bobby 'Baccala' Baccalieri, of Sopranos fame)
- Niamh Cusack
- Richard Kind
- Matthew Baynton (off of Gavin and Stacey)
- It features the lovely Charles Dickens's House Museum in Bloomsbury
- That's it
- Matt Damon is at his "Matt Damon" worst
- It feels uncharitable to point it out, but the standard of acting from the younger members of the cast is wince-inducingly poor.
- The story - the problem is not that it's packed with morally-questionable, hokey tosh. This would be forgivable were the script and the structure not so extroardinarily saggy and flaccid.
- I am mystified as to why this has been nominated for a special effects Oscar. Most of the film is bog-standard effects-wise, so I assume it's for the opening tsunami set-piece. For me, it didn't work at all; the CG was too obviously present and anyone who's seen those documentaries with real-life tsunami footage will recognise the classic failure of making the effect both more visually impressive and less actually horrific.
- It's a cheap shot, I suppose, but as ever London is highly-unconvincingly drawn in a Hollywood flick (as is Paris, though we do have at least a couple of minutes before the first Tour Eiffel shot).