Flatliners

Year: 1990
Directed By: Joel Schumacher
Written By: Peter Filardi

RYAN’S REVIEW

This is an interesting movie about five medical students who start a daring experiment to learn more about life after death.  Together the five of them meet with the necessary equipment to kill one of them for a specific amount of time and then bring them back to life to explain what they saw. It starts with just one of them wanting to do the experiment but after it is successful they all want a turn, and chance to raise the stakes.  To the horror of all of them they find that while they are successfully brought back to life, they don’t come back alone.  All of them soon find something from their own past haunting them in the real world.

To go along with such an interesting story was a really great cast of actors who were all on the rise at the time. Julia Roberts made this the same year she made Pretty Woman. She quickly became a superstar over night with that one so this film probably got overshadowed as far as her performance goes. This was a good movie for Kiefer Sutherland at this point in his career but things seemed to go downhill for him after this. He really struggled to have a hit or significant role until he landed the part of Jack Bauer on 24. I was a really big fan of that show and stuck with it even when everything went to hell during the writer’s strike.  So naturally I am a big fan of Kiefer and I think he was good in this movie.  I have always liked Kevin Bacon as well but he has had an up and down career too.  I do think that of all the performances in this film his was one of the strongest but no one does anything specifically distinguishing in this film.  The other two doctors are played by William Baldwin and Oliver Platt.  Platt has been able to survive as an actor for all these years but I have never been a big fan.  I’m not sure what it is that the other Baldwins are lacking next to their incredibly talented brother Alec, but you can’t say none of them made an effort.  They all had roles in one movie or another but somehow can’t get anything going.  Things weren’t always so rosy for Alec either though, my daughter does own his Thomas and the Magic Railroad movie, and he must have been really desperate when he did that one.

This movie was made by Joel Schumacher, and like Sheldon Cooper I also loathe the man for ruining the Batman franchise during the 90s.  What he did to the Batman character and film franchise is unforgivable, but fortunately this movie predates that disaster.  That being said I can still enjoy this film by him, as well as The Lost Boys that he did with Kiefer a few years before this one.  A viewer with a watchful eye can easily see Schumacher’s style in this film. He likes gothic images and the glowing use of colors and fancy lights that we saw so much of in his Batman films.  It all works in this movie though and he made a great film.

This movie starts off with a great cast and an awesome story but does get a little silly near the end.  The tone of the film doesn’t have much continuity to it, but I don’t think it really takes anything away from the movie. I do really like the cast too but I don’t think any of them specifically offered a fantastic performance.  They do their jobs well enough though and their names do enough to bring attention to the film and give it an audience.  I have heard before that there might eventually be a remake of this film and that wouldn’t surprise me at all.  A cool idea like this is an easy choice to make in this world of rehashed movies we now live in.  I think this one is good though and I would recommend it to anyone.  This movie is worth your time and if you give it a chance I think you will enjoy it.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I kept telling Ryan that I had already seen this movie. Apparently, he was right. This movie had me intrigued from the get-go. The whole idea of the afterlife is an interesting aspect; I don’t care who you are, we have all thought about what happens to you when you die. The idea that doctors are going to kill themselves and bring themselves back to life is amazingly interesting. I was in to the movie the whole time, while little by little each doctor kills themselves and then has the others bring them back to life in order to see what the afterlife is like. If you haven’t seen this movie, you should. It has some really key actors and is based on an interesting subject. Sometimes the movie gets a little cliché, but overall I really enjoyed watching it and would watch it again.

NEXT MOVIE: Forrest Gump (1994)

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