In 2015’s Maggie, famed action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger showed the world that he can step outside the realm of slam-bang movies and deliver a heartfelt dramatic performance. Though Maggie was superficially a zombie movie, it was really about a father grieving over the death of his daughter, though technically the daughter wasn’t even dead yet. Schwarzenegger’s grizzled appearance and quiet acting in that film may have been a shocker for those used to seeing him in movies like Commando and Predator.
Schwarzenegger is once again stepping outside his old gun-toting, one-liner-growling comfort zone to appear in a serious drama about a man dealing with the realities of grief. Grizzled, sad Schwarzenegger (not to be mistaken with reality host Schwarzenegger) may have permanently replaced the version we came to know and love over a string of outrageous action flicks from the ’80s and ’90s.
In Aftermath, Arnold Schwarzenegger once again wears a beard, and once again is profoundly affected when something terrible happens to his family. In the movie’s new trailer, Schwarzenegger’s wife and daughter die when their plane suffers a mid-air mishap and crashes. One air traffic controller’s negligence was responsible for the disaster, and Arnold decides he wants to meet the man and get an apology. And that could be bad news for the guilty party.
Does Schwarzenegger end up seeking revenge against the guilty air traffic controller, or is an apology enough? The trailer teases us with the possibility that things could get violent. We also see Schwarzenegger stretching his acting muscles more than ever before, which must naturally beg the question: Will Aftermath finally earn Schwarzenegger some awards season recognition?
Considering all the success Liam Neeson had in the Taken trilogy, it might seem a natural thing for Schwarzenegger to also segue into the father-out-for-revenge genre. Superficially, Aftermath looks like something that could veer into Taken territory; it even features Neeson’s daughter from the Taken films, actress Maggie Grace. The true story that inspired the movie did end with the grieved father murdering the air traffic controller responsible for his family’s death, but that doesn’t mean the movie necessarily has to go down that violent path.
This latter-day Schwarzenegger move away from cartoonish action and into “realistic” drama is an interesting one. Schwarzenegger certainly has a lot of fans who would love to see him whip out a machine gun, fire off a quip and mow down some bad guys like in the old days – but for now Schwarzenegger seems determined to expand his range as an actor.
Aftermath hits theaters on April 7th, 2017.
Source: Arnold Schwarzenegger
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