IN the smouldering ruins of 1946 Hamburg, shell-shocked Germans and Allies jostle for position while rebuilding the shattered city. All sides are bruised, resentful.
Rachael Morgan (Keira Knightley) joins her husband Lewis (Jason Clarke), the British colonel overseeing the reconstruction project.
Knightly is good but Skarsgard is forgettable in a dull but passable film with giant plot holes
In what must have been a weird set-up for all involved, they move into a large house where the original owner, a widower (Alexander Skarsgard) and his daughter have been relegated to the attic.
This doesn’t exactly bode well for a happy household – especially when the remnants of the Nazi Party are on the prowl for revenge.
The premise is intriguing – I certainly wasn’t aware of the Allies taking over private homes – and there is a great film to be made here.
Sadly, this isn’t it.
Instead, we get a breathless, feature-length Oliver Peoples advert – characters posing in fancy costumes, all style over substance – with plot holes so large you could drive a division of Panzer tanks through them.
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Keira Knightley is great – when she is permitted to act rather than simply bite her lip and stare at men.
But Skarsgard is forgettable and if it wasn’t for Clarke this would be very dull indeed. But the Aussie star commands your attention – and gets it, in a role that is the polar opposite of his turn in Serenity.
This isn’t bad. But when you watch, ask yourself two things: When did they tell the daughter, and where was her suitcase?
The Aftermath 109 mins (15)