Movie Review: Flatliners
Updated: May 27, 2019
Five medical students, obsessed by what lies beyond the confines of life, embark on a daring experiment: by stopping their hearts for short periods, each triggers a near-death experience - giving them a firsthand account of the afterlife.
IMDb rating 5.1/10 Metacritic 27/100 Rotten Tomatoes 5%
I had actually planned to see this film in the theatres but that never happened. After the reviews I thought maybe it was a good idea that I waited to see it especially knowing my bias on reboots/remakes. Now I thoroughly enjoyed the original it had a solid cast that was extremely hot at the time (Roberts, Bacon, Sutherland). Of course fast forward 25+ years and get a couple solid actors and actresses (Page, Dobrev, Luna) and get Kiefer to make a guest appearance in the reboot and you would think that give it a good celebrity push but that never happened at all.
Looking at the reviews and ratings of the movie you can see that most people didn’t care for it in the slightest. They had a good opportunity to do a good job with the reboot and keep the movie extremely fresh which they really fell short on. They really kept in a lot of things that were in the original even the line from Kiefer that ‘Today is a good day to die’ and all the way to the characters themselves even though they may have been gender-bent (Page taking Sutherland’s role) I would have preferred a much more distinct difference between the two films as opposed to feeling like you watched a little fluffier version of the original.
They didn’t give the movie a monster budget in the slightest just shy of $20M. It made its money back thanks to its overseas numbers but domestically didn’t cover the budget of the film. For what they were given, the cinematography was quite good. I figure with what they had to pay the cast and crew that they didn’t have a tonne to work with but they made it count. I liked a lot of the ‘afterlife’ scenes but they were a lot fluffier from what I remember from the original and I think they could have taken a much darker direction with them. Funny thing is upon a little further research I found that the original did more domestically in 1990 than this film did.
I actually enjoyed the casting of everyone in the film. I don’t think I’ve seen an Ellen Page film I didn’t care for. I did watch all of the Vampire Diaries and didn’t like it when they removed Nina Dobrev from the show. I enjoyed Luna in Rogue One (Uno) and they all did a great job in the film for what they were given. This film is similar to Green Lantern in the fact that it isn’t the actors fault they can only do so much with what they were given. They had an opportunity to change it up and make it original. However, they may have been afraid they were going to have another Ghostbusters on their hands if they strayed too far from the original.
So do I recommend it? To someone that hasn’t seen the original sure I would give it a viewing but then follow it up with the original as well. Not necessary to cleanse the palette but it’s kinda like watching the movie and then reading the book because the book is always better. But in the case of reboots usually the original is better. I can only think of a handful where the reboot is better (The Fly and Ocean’s Eleven come to mind quickly) It is far from horrendous. I don’t think it should have gotten as bad of reviews as it did it just wasn’t better than the original in my opinion just a shoddy facsimile.
2.5 Beards out of 5