Let me get it out of the way, if you don’t like spoilers don’t read this review. Just be prepared to rage-quit in the last 5 minutes of the movie. However this is a movie about psychic powers so you should already know how the movie ends right?
Well, the ending really really bothers me. Not because I don’t believe in that kind of thing. While I don’t, I do love a good fantasy. So here’s how the movie runs down: Sigourney Weaver is a professional skeptic. Her son is on life support, and has been for a decade or more. She won’t let him die because she doesn’t believe in the afterlife. Cillian Murphy is her plucky side-kick. Together they solve crimes, and defeat evil psychics and charlatans. Robert De Niro is the biggest baddest psychic, who retired years ago. Turns out De Niro is a fraud, and rather than being a physicist Murphy really is a psychic and uses his psychic powers to make De Niro look like the fraud he is. He then claims that he did it for her (Weaver) but regrets that it’s too late for her to know, and intimates she should have pulled the plug on her son.
Do you see the logical disconnect here? All I ask from my fantasy, and I don’t think it’s much, is a little internal consistency. This makes me rage. So we find out in the end that Paranormal stuff IS real after all… there’s an afterlife, ghosts and all that junk… but because Weaver died before it was discovered she won’t be able to go to heaven and be reunited with her son… because why? Murphy should have been happy. Weaver’s going to find out she was wrong and get reunited with her kid in the afterlife. Doesn’t get much better than that!
So here’s the thing about the afterlife, there are really only a couple of options.
1) When you die, you’re dead, that’s it there’s nothing else.
2) When you die you go on existing.
Now if reality is 1, it doesn’t matter what you believe … you won’t get any sort of gratification for being right, or punishment for being wrong… you won’t be.
However if option 2 is reality, then if you’re an atheist (read skeptic) you’re probably pleasantly surprised to find there is an afterlife after all.
Unless we’re talking Job: A Comedy of Justice, what happens to you when you die isn’t actually based on what you believe though…