A supernatural tale with no imagination. See I could write for the Sun. Tell your friends.
Warning signs were there. Viewed purely in the context of its IMDB page, Hereafter is some serious Oscar bait. Directed by perennial favourite Clint Eastwood, who usually just has to turn up to get a nomination, Matt Damon of course and then Peter Morgan, everyone favourite documenter of recent history. Morgan's an interesting one, because he seems the kind of writer to let his research to the talking, and although people loved this when it came to The Queen, Frost/Nixon or The Last King Of Scotland, his work exclusively in biopics had me a little suspicious.
Apparently with reason, because Hereafter is an aimless, joyless over-long mess. Connected by generalities and broad protestations of supernatural meaning, Morgan has tried to make an adult supernatural drama, away from the usual colourful tropes usually associated, an idea I'm not entirely opposed to, but created something too self-indulgent and rote to have any value to anyone other then him. We spend too long with dull characters and a story that literally goes nowhere, and while there were moments of Matt Damon's performance I liked, and it's awesome to see Switchblade Romance's Cecile De France show up in such a prominent role, it's a sinking ship and there's not much to be done about that. Equally too melodramatic and too dour, with an ending that emphatically makes one feel one has wasted one's time. Not that you really needed much more evidence to be convinced of that point of view.
Still, I like Eastwood's attempt to do something different, only maybe read the script a little more carefully next time. Morgan meanwhile, seemed to struggle without the weight history lends. When he had to build and construct world's of his own and make it viable, well. Didn't seem to work all that well. I wouldn't quite say it's an embarrassing misstep, but that is certainly how it will be perceived.