Flatliners is one of my all-time favourite films. The 1990 original, that is.
Joel Schumacher’s vision was amazing, and the widescreen visuals were killed on pan-and-scan VHS tape, so it’s no surprise that when I bought a Creative Dxr2 DVD-ROM player for my PC, with the region hacked, the first DVD I bought was a Region 1 version of that movie.
What it didn’t need was a remake… or is the 2017 movie a sequel or a companion piece of some sort? It’s got Kiefer Sutherland in it, after all, but… sadly, not as Nelson. He was originally meant to reprise that role, but a bridging scene was removed and so it’s like he’s just here to make up the numbers.
So, about Flatliners 2017, Courtney (Ellen Page) is working in a hospital, nine years after a life-changing experience, and chances upon a female patient who twigs her dillemma, instantly reminding me of the old woman in the hospital who Julia Roberts’ Rachel tended to. So, Courtney is Rachel, then? When I saw the trailer, it looked like they were all a mix of them, not specific carbon copies… as if that might improve things, but hey, I look at each film based on its own merits.
After introducing the interns, Courtney’s the one to bring them all together, but even when they’re ‘going under’, starting with Courtney, the acting is colder than her body temperature. And since she’s going first, it’s like she’s also Nelson, who went first in the original… while Jamie (James Norton) uses his “It’s a good day to die!” line, hence why I said they all feel like a mix of the characters.
We see the positive effects it has on the students, but you know that it won’t take long until the downsides kick in, and tThere’s nothing in the way of actual shocks, although only one plot development surprised me as it wasn’t the same as the original.
Beyond that, this remake has flatlined.
Running time: 109 minutes
Studio: Columbia Pictures Corporation Ltd.
Format: 2.35:1 (Panavision, Dolby Vision)
Director: Niels Arden Oplev
Producers: Michael Douglas, Laurence Mark and Peter Safran
Screenplay: Ben Ripley (based on a story by Peter Filardi)
Music: Nathan Barr
Courtney: Ellen Page
Ray: Diego Luna
Marlo: Nina Dobrev
Jamie: James Norton
Sophia: Kiersey Clemons
Dr. Barry Wolfson: Kiefer Sutherland
Tessa: Madison Brydges
Alex: Jacob Soley
Alicia: Anna Arden
Cyrus Gudgeon: Miguel Anthony
Irina Wong: Jenny Raven
Brad Mauser: Beau Mirchoff
Girl on Bicycle: Charlotte McKinney
Sophia’s Mother: Wendy Raquel Robinson
Marlo’s Brother: Steve Byers
Chief Resident: Lisa Codrington
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.