Flatliners

Flatliners
D.O.A.

S ometimes it’s not enough to play God; you gotta let ‘em know who’s boss; really slap that deity around: You think you can grant life and death? HA! I’m going to kill myself, come back from the dead, and write a boring 500-word essay on “How I Spent My Somber Vacation.” Suck it, Omnimpotent one.

And there’s the premise for Flatliners, a film that didn’t get any better by replacing last generation’s brat pack with this generation’s actors-you-might-recognize-a-little-I-think. Longing for a chance to get away from it all during her medical internship, Courtney (Ellen Page) asks her study buddies to kill her, wait a minute, then revive her. Sure. What could go wrong?

I’m racking my brain and can really see no downside to this plan. None whatsoever.

So what is death like? From the looks of it, death looks like a knockoff David Lynch film: Random night vision, a few weird visuals, and then something both confusing and disturbing. In the case of Courtney, the latter is the sister she lost while cell-phone driving showed up to say, “hi.”  And after Courtney’s return from death, sis just didn’t go away; she wants Courtney in the permanently dead club.

Geez, everybody only focuses on the negative. Except that they don’t. At all. In fact, just the opposite happens. When Courtney comes back, she has entire textbooks memorized and can play “Clair de Lune” upside-down and backwards, like Mozart. Cooooooool. Apparently, death makes you really horny, too. “Dudes, forget erotic asphyxiation. To get it right, you have to go all the way!” And pretty soon, everybody wants to join the Dead Bonehead’s Society.

Hmmm, Courtney, is there anything you wish to share with the class? Like, “oh, bee-tee-dubs, I’m having life-like hallucinations of my dead nine-year-old sister trying to even the score. This isn’t a problem, is it?” No? Not going to share? Ok.

Biggest thing about being dead is karma demands C.O.D. within 60

“Psst, Dudes! There’s a *good* film playing to your right!”

seconds of arrival. And, man, do you medical school kids ever have some skeletons in your closets. Did Gross Anatomy 101 give away samples? Among Page, Nina Dobrev, Diego Luna, James Norton, and Kiersey Clemons, you guys kinda deserve to have a haunting or five.

This Flatliners is a constant reminder that no matter how astute you are, no matter buried your past, no matter how well intentioned your future, there is never a bad time for a miniskirt and a jogbra. This is not a good film and will never be confused with one. It does, however, have a decent scare or two, and Kiefer Sutherland to remind you that another of these films exists. I wonder if this trash is his karmic retribution for the original Flatliners.

♪This life is like a stifling wave, think I want to be dead
Drownin’ could be a problem, better shock me instead
You’re the right kind of intern, to attain my inner fantasy
There’s avoidable sin, here, hey don’t worry leave that stuff to me

Be a heart shocker
Death mocker, tightrope walker
Just revive me and you’ll see
You’re a heart shocker
Joe Cocker, I hate soccer
I ran out of rhymes, oh no♫

Rated PG-13, 110 Minutes
Director: Niels Arden Oplev
Writer: Ben Ripley
Genre: Playing God, a lot
Type of being most likely to enjoy this film: Wronged silent people, maybe?
Type of being least likely to enjoy this film: Superstitious and guilt-ridden

♪ Parody Inspired by “Heartbreaker”

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