Flatliners (2017). Film Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * *

Cast: Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton, Kiersey Clemons, Kiefer Sutherland, Madison Brydges, Jacob Soley, Anna Arden, Miguel Anthony, Jenny Raven, Beau Mirchoff, Charlotte McKinney, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Steve Byers.

The obsession to remake a film is perhaps arguably getting out of hand, it is the current vogue that is spiralling ever onwards and not always for the better. There are some that slip through and the appeal is surprisingly endearing, they grab the attention and add a notch of interest to the cinematic bedpost. However, mostly it an experiment for artistic sake only, to see how another director might envision the response of a character differently or how another person might be used as better plot device.

Flatliners is a prime example of a film that arguably did not have to be made again, it does its best to find a new niche, a sense of standing apart from its older, arguably more talented sibling but in the end it just has the energy to be vaguely riding along in the vain hope of being taken seriously, of having just about the right sense of direction to not be dismissed as an interloper onto the scene.

The trouble is, aside from Kiefer Sutherland making an impact on the screen and the reliable Diego Luna, there is nothing very much that grabs the viewer for longer than is possible, there is the illusion to a dark and attention stealing, almost provocative which was envisioned but it falls somewhat short of the final delivery. Like a package left on a step for someone else, the film has been opened, played with and put back in the box and held together with string rather than the tape that stood perfectly in line with the edges before.

Flatliners, arguably quite flat indeed, a despairing attempt in which to frame something that wasn’t theirs to take, never mind the lack of originality, there is very little suspense that grabs the viewer, there is nothing new in the realm of the untouched mind and for all of that it comes across a pity; for to take on a film in which was a classic of its day and then repackage it without heart, that is the reality of a flat offering.

Ian D. Hall