I know this statement will likely lead to me being torn apart by various people, but so be it: I find Clint Eastwood as a director to be overrated. Yes, the movies he directs are generally good and they certainly bring in the A-list actors, but I have yet to find them as worthy of all the accolades bestowed upon them. They’re usually very emotional dramas delivered in a very heavy-handed way, and while they are good movies in the moment, I rarely want to revisit them later like I do with movies by more subtle directors.
In his latest work, “Hereafter” uses Matt Damon as the thread that ties together the lives of three very different people. Damon is George, a man able to communicate with the dead, and for years he used his gift for profit by hiring himself out to the bereaved to give them one last bit of contact with their deceased loved ones. But this kind of work has taken its toll on him, so he’s decided to retire from the psychic medium business.
Unfortunately, having such an extraordinary talent makes walking away a bit harder than quitting most jobs. George is sought after by three people — a French journalist, a British schoolboy and a working class American — who each have experienced death and desperately need his help. Will George give in to them? And, more importantly, when he inevitably does (I hope stating the obvious isn’t considered a spoiler), will what he has to share with them actually be anything they want to hear?
True to form, “Hereafter” looks like another classic Eastwood-helmed dramatic drama with a side order of extra drama; probably tasty enough, but few would want to go back for seconds.
Also starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Richard Kind, and Jenifer Lewis, “Hereafter” will visit the other side on Oct. 22.
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