After Everything

Directed By Castille Landon

Starring – Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Josephine Langford, Louise Lombard

The Plot – Hardin (Tiffin) goes to Lisbon to make Natalie (Mimi Keene) forgive him for everything he did to her, when he comes face to face with Natalie, Natalie wants him gone. Hardin comes across Sebastian (Benjamin Mascolo), a friend of Natalie’s, which spurs his overwhelming jealousy. Hardin is also heartbroken that Tessa (Langford) wants to move on and not be with Hardin. While Hardin wants to be with her, Tessa tells Hardin to move on.

Rated R for sexual content and adult language
After Everything | Official Trailer | Prime Video – YouTube


Very few franchises have the ability to improve with each installment, but considering this one gets off to a ridiculously over-the-top first chapter, with “After”, and this fifth chapter has subdued a majority of its mayhem, it’s able to focus on some pretty endearing aspects to the quality of “After Everything”. For starters, the technical components flourish wonderfully to both the sight and sound of the experience, surprising with Landon’s single best direction to date, with warmly affectionate cinematography, beautifully captured on-site scenery of Portugal, Spain, and intricacy in sound design, which surmise authenticity in the way club and beach environments are conveyed, with loud music often overwhelming the clarity of character interaction and dialogue. For the first time in this franchise, it emulates big screen appeal wonderfully, earning every bit of the big screen limited engagements that it has in debuting towards its audience. Beyond this, the film tackles the impossible by making me not completely hate Hardin like I have in the previous films. Landon attains this by making the bold decision to follow his character entirely for the movie, which in turn leads to a character evolution that does surprisingly illustrate two very distinct sides of Hardin, not only in the previous installments to now, but also in the beginning of this film until the end. His shift in attitude and selflessness isn’t thoroughly defined or deep with creative depth, but it does succeed in making him feel like a person who can finally appreciate how great his life legitimately is, leaving the brooding, self-wallowing rich kid act on the bench where it belongs. Lastly, despite limitations in her on-screen usage, Langford continues to be the heart and soul of this franchise, imbedding it with emotional resonance for a third act climax that challenges her character in ways she truly doesn’t expect. Combine this with Hardin’s aforementioned evolution in arc, and we’re able to garner a little bit of chemistry for the two leads, which has noticeably been missing in previous installments, as the two often felt like bona fide sex buddies, instead of inseperable soul mates.


Lack of subtlety continues to be the franchise’s biggest primary antagonist, especially in the combination of dialogue and drama, which hammer so hardly on-the-nose that they practically spell out for the audience what the script is effortlessly trying to convey. On the dialogue, Hardin’s overhead narration still feels like satirical wallowing of a sixth grader, who just got their heart broken for the first time, with insights meant to be deep and poetic, but instead come across as shallow and desparate. Likewise, the dramatic flare, or what little there is left of it by a stretched fifth installment, is so forcefully materialized and at times downright hilarious that it’s difficult to ever take it seriously. Such an example is in Hardin’s on-again, off-again alcoholism, which seems to only influence him when something bad has just happened to him, where he then guzzles down bottles like water as meandering overhead musical cues play him into his darkness. Aside from this, the script itself is clumsily disjointed, with a dedication entirely to Hardin’s arc, which abandons Tessa completely until the film’s final fifteen minutes. As previously conveyed, doing this allows the film to focus more faithfully towards his character transformation, but by not showing Tessa’s arc, it not only undercuts her importance to the integrity of the conflict, but it also leaves far too much burden of responsibility on Hardin’s arc, which gets boring fast as repetition plagues an already predictable second act. In addition to this, I still can’t understand why these movies are rated-R, especially with the bulk of its designation coming from sexual scenes and situations that don’t contain with them a shred of nudity or vulgarity to the way they’re performed. There’s not even that much of them this time around, with one sex scene near the end of the movie, and one fake-out dream sequence making up the entirety of their inclusion. Even the dialogue doesn’t contain much adult language, leaving much of Hardin’s immaturity off of the table this time around, which only further confuses why it’s cutting off the majority of its teenage audience, for the sake of adult material that it goes out of its way to try to convince us of. Finally, while the film does successfully feel like the end of the road for this world and its respective characters, the film’s closing minutes feel like an abrupt afterthought, instead of a heartfelt goodbye, Because the film’s pacing is so patiently persistent throughout the entirety of its 88 minute run time, even sometimes stretching scenes a bit further than they rightfully should’ve, it only makes the abundance of character developments during the film’s closing moments feel so anticlimatic and ineffective, with an equally abrupt credits roll that prematurally cuts down on the momentum, which feels like it was just starting to unravel.

“After Everything” is the least offensive installment of a five-film franchise based entirely on fanfiction, but still peters out its potential with strange decisions of focus and manic melodrama that feels like more of the same. While credit can be given candidly to Landon for achieving big screen appeal to his single best direction to date, it’s ultimately too little too late on the effort, after everything this franchise has put me through.

My Grade: 4/10 or D

3 thoughts on “After Everything

  1. For how awful the first few entries are, I’m legit shocked that this franchise is ending with a film that probably won’t even be in your top 10 worst of the year. And the fact that it actually somewhat redeems one of the characters is even more shocking. I still won’t watch it and I’m glad that this series is finally over, but I guess it’s somewhat nice seeing these movie crawl out of the gutter to at least be somewhat tolerable I guess. Excellent work!

  2. One of the only things I could think of while I was reading through your review was, man this film seems like it was going towards a positive direction but they were super late on doing so if this is the fifth film of a franchise. Then I read the last line of your overall synopsis and boom, matched up right in line with you. For me, that shows how well you laid out the review to this.

  3. Great review! I’m impressed that they were able to take a character that sounded like he was thoroughly unlikable and change him to a better character. I am surprised that it is rated R as it seems like this would be targeted towards teens! It looks like they had some beautiful shooting locations, but this is not a film for me. I enjoyed reading your review though!

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