The Source for Youth Ministry

Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

Aftermath (6/6/2017)

Rated R for a scene of violence.

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maggie Grace and Scoot McNairy

Directed Elliott Lester (Blitz)

Todd's Rating: A Coaster

Dynamic ImageTwo strangers' lives become inextricably bound together after a devastating plane crash. Inspired by actual events, Aftermath tells a story of guilt and revenge after an air traffic controller’s (Scoot McNairy) error causes the death of a construction foreman’s (Arnold Schwarzenegger) wife and daughter.

Aftermath is a plane crash movie without a plane crash. Instead, we get to see two triangles on a radar screen move towards each other and then disappear… And talk about a letdown: I had no idea at the time that that would be nothing compared to the letdown of this movie.

Besides the no plane crash, there are also no heroes. We have air traffic controller Jake, whose mistake leads to the disaster and then we have the grieving husband/parent, Roman, who lost his wife and pregnant daughter in the off-camera crash. Neither is worthy of the title hero.

Which begs the question, what is the point of the movie? And unfortunately I don’t have an answer for you.

In his heyday Arnold Schwarzenegger played larger-than-life characters; characters who overcame insurmountable odds. In Aftermath, his biggest foe is depression. I’m not making light of death, loss, or depression… I’m merely pointing out that Schwarzenegger was probably the worst choice to play Roman.

The script, written by Javier Gullón, was loosely inspired by the 2002 air disaster that took place outside of Überlingen, Germany, in which a passenger plane from Moscow collided with a cargo plane in midair, killing all aboard. From what I understand, two years after being cleared of responsibility, the Swiss air traffic controller who had been in contact with both planes was stabbed to death at his home by a Russian man who had lost his wife and children in the crash.

The cast is not strong, the script is paper-thin, and the pace is dreadfully slow. Aftermath is a “Coaster.”

There is no sex or nudity. There are a few disturbing images and one scene that is pretty graphic and 1 F-word.


  1. How did Roman cope with his grief?

  2. How do you cope with grief?

  3. Read I Thessalonians 4:13

      But we do not want to be uninformed, brothers, but those who are asleep, that they may not grieve as others do who have no hope.

  4. What does this verse tell us about grief and hope?

  5. How can you encourage someone with this verse today?

Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.

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